Presented in partnership with Mystery to Me Bookstore. Nicholas Petrie’s debut novel, The Drifter, offers a trenchant exploration of the shattered lives of returning veterans, wrapped in the cloak of a riveting thriller. This literary page-turner pits Peter Ash, a damaged veteran of the wars Afghanistan and Iraq, against a criminal web in contemporary Milwaukee. Waging a different kind of battle within, Peter tries to put his own tenuous life together. In an attempt to tune out the noise in his own head, he offers help to the widow of his best friend from the battlefield—an act of expiation that turns deadly. Peter uncovers a complex web of criminal activity. And, always battling the white static in his head, he is thrust back into memories and situations that he had hoped he had left behind in war zones halfway around the world.
“The Drifter is a stunning debut. Peter Ash is one of the most complex characters I've come across in a long time. The pace is like a sniper round, extraordinarily fast and precisely calibrated. The prose is fluid, original and frequently brilliant, the story heart-wrenching and uplifting at the same time. There is grit in this tale that will stay with you for a long time. Perhaps forever. I eagerly await Nicholas Petrie's next creation.” —David Baldacci, New York Times-bestselling author of Memory Man
Nick Petrie received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington and won a Hopwood Award for short fiction while an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. His story “At the Laundromat” won the 2006 Short Story Contest in The Seattle Review, a national literary journal. His first novel, The Drifter, won the ITW Thriller and Barry Awards, and was nominated for Edgar, Anthony, and Hammett Awards. He won the 2016 Literary Award from the Wisconsin Library Association and was named one of Apple’s 10 Writers to Read in 2017. Light It Up was named the Best Thriller of 2018 by Apple Books and has been nominated for a Barry Award. His books in the Peter Ash series are The Drifter, Burning Bright, Light It Up, Tear It Down, and The Breaker. A husband and father, he has worked as a carpenter, remodeling contractor, and building inspector. He lives in Milwaukee, where he is hard at work on the next Peter Ash novel.