The assassin lines her up in his crosshairs. He gently eases back on the trigger.
Just one more question before he completes this assignment: If he kills her, will he also be killing himself?
In his black-and-white world, Sam Bradford—former Marine turned government assassin—finally sees a speck of gray. He has always followed orders without question, but his latest assignment threatens to disrupt the precision of his universe and may either sever or redeem his last remaining sliver of humanity.
Using his mastery of the 122 Rules of Psychology, Sam hunts down everyone The Agency sends him to find and eliminates them. Just as he has his rifle scope focused on his latest victim, Monica Sable, a SoCal girl entangled with the mob, his long-dormant conscience reappears for a final performance—one last-ditch effort to save the sinking ship of Sam’s soul. He’s killed innocents before but tarries on pulling the trigger this time.
When Monica escapes his crosshairs and fumbles her way across the country in a pathetic attempt to elude capture, Sam gives chase. But he’s not the only one after her. Ruthless henchmen, hired by the mob, froth like bloodhounds and nip at Monica’s heels. Now Sam is faced with a choice: turn his back on the rules and jeopardize his way of life by helping her, or join the pack and rip her to shreds.
What readers on Amazon and Goodreads are saying:
★★★★★ "Deek Rhew might be some bizarre love child of a sexy Alfred Hitchcock and a funny Robert Ludlum.”
★★★★★ "122 Rules is a fast-paced thrill-ride, filled with rich characters living in an expertly woven world of mystery and suspense."
★★★★★ "The perfect, fast-paced novel for fans of kick-butt heroines, creepy killers, and getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. An absolute must-read!"
★★★★★ "This is a moment in your life without comparison or equal because you are about to embark on a journey that will undoubtedly become one of those memorable experiences you tell all your friends about."
★★★★★ "With a pinch of humor and multiple twists of violent action, 122 RULES is a page-turning thriller."
★★★★★ "Eloquent novel of suspense, danger, romance, friendship, crisis, emotional blackmail, and adventure."
★★★★★ "This thriller kept me glued to the pages with a likable heroine, great dialogue, villain that totally creeped me out.”
★★★★★ "What a wild ride!”
★★★★★ "Wow, wow, wow! Rhew's story grips you from the start and doesn't let go.”
★★★★★ "I could not put this book down.”
★★★★★ "This book was absolutely riveting - a political thriller, a psychological thriller, a mystery, and so much more.”
★★★★★ "Simply Unputdownable...”
★★★★★ "Worth reading countless times.”
★★★★★ "A nitro-crazy car ride from beginning to end.”
★★★★★ "Will grab you and take you for a wild ride!”
★★★★★ "Lock and load people, strap on your protective vest, and open this book with extreme care.”
★★★★★ "There is danger, romance, friendship, adventure and explosions! It doesn't get much better than that!”
Deek did not set out to be a writer. Originally, he wanted to follow father’s path as a career military man and fly for the Air Force. So, Deek spent two years in high school preparing for the ROTC. During a routine check-in, his recruiter asked about any handicaps, to which Deek jokingly replied he was colorblind. The recruiter got a funny look on his face and informed Deek that the closest he’d ever get to the pilot’s seat was from the scheduling office. Um no.
After that, Deek focused on his love for music--touring with a local rock band and majoring in the art in college. Unfortunately he didn’t enjoy the life of a pauper, so he started secondary school over. Ten years later, he walked across the stage with a computer science degree. He now slings web and database code to satisfy his inner geek (and to pay the bills, of course).
Though he loves his job and the people he works with, Deek has been enthralled by the written word and storytelling since he picked up his first Stephen King novel, It. On his way to work one day, a scene so vivid flashed through his mind that he felt compelled to pull over and put it to paper. Having neither quill nor parchment in which to document the image, he laboriously pecked out the first chapter of 122 Rules on his phone.
A transplant from a rainy pocket in the Pacific Northwest, Deek now lives in a sultry corner of the US of A where the sun shines bright, the sweet tea flows, and the hush puppies are hot and delicious. He and his brilliant, but stunning author bride, Erin Rhew, live a simple life with their writing assistant, a fat tabby named Trinity. They enjoy lingering in the mornings, and often late into the night, caught up Erin’s fantastic fantasy worlds of noble princes and knights and entwined in Deek’s dark underworld of the FBI and drug lords.
He and Erin love spending time with friends, running, boxing, lifting weights, and adventuring.
This is a moment in your life without comparison or equal because you are about to embark on a journey that will undoubtedly become one of those memorable experiences you tell all your friends about. And that’s why it is your Rhewination. From this point onward, everything else you read will be measured against your first reading Deek Rhew’s 122 Rules.
You came here unsuspecting, looking to learn more about a new release detective/crime novel from a new author. This is one of those events you’ll recall and in the future relate to others as experiences. Imagine being that guy whose little sister was a Monkees fan in the 60’s and she insisted on taking her to their concert, but then, the opening act was Jimi Hendrix – before anyone else was ‘experienced’.
With 122 Rules, Deek Rhew fires a warning shot across the bow of all others approaching the genre’s unsafe harbor. Having arrived in port, once he drops anchor with this series starter…well, he will be taking over. Deek fuses several different styles into his unique own as he drops this compelling tale. There are unexpected, wickedly fast flips and plot twists - more than an amateur's first attempt at solving a Rubik's cube - that will leave you gasping, but also wanting for more thrills.
At core the plot is basic. Monica is a key witness against the mob and the bad guys want her dead. But there is the first twist. Sam, an ex-Marine (if there is such a thing) is a government assassin and, because he uses 122 Rules of Psychology to find his targets, he is the best at what he does. When sanctioned by his secret government agency he eliminates them. The trouble comes when the same government that wants Monica to live and testify against the mob also appears to have sent its best assassin to take her out. BUT, in Deek Rhew’s world you cannot accept anything at face value. Just read on...and on while negotiating more turns than a NYC Taxi driver's "shortcut" to LaGuardia.
What I enjoyed best about this book is the seasoning of humor and irony throughout. Sometimes it was merely for comic relief after an intense, suspenseful situation. But other times it served as a commentary on the complexities of dealing with anything involving the government. You will chuckle here and there as Deek points out things to you and you probably will laugh out loud, too. This book, though, is far from comedy. It's just part of Deek's amazing writing style.
The conclusion satisfies but leaves an opening for the sequel, which we're told is on its way.
I’m not sure how Deek learned to write the way that he does but I’m sure glad he figured it out. Having experienced Rhewination I’m more than ready for another round.
Review is based on a For Review Copy supplied by the publisher.
What. A. Ride! Monica is in the wrong place at the wrong time. She has overheard something she should not have. This sets in motion events that turn her life upside down. Not only are the cops being difficult but someone is after her...several someones and it's up to her to take care of herself, which she is no stranger to. Sam is an assassin, never giving thought to his "marks" ...Until now. Could this mark be different? Could they be wrong about her? There is more to her story and he must make a decision... Complete the job or find the truth. Great book full of action and suspense from start to finish. Throw in some sarcastic humor and you have yourself a book you can't put down! The writer submerges you in the character's lives. There is danger, romance, friendship, adventure and explosions! It doesn't get much better than that! This is a MUST read!
This fast-paced novel, with characters that leap out of the pages, will grab you and take you for a wild ride! I found myself seamlessly drawn into Monica's world, and the frustration she has with the hand she's dealt. She definitely deals with some things that made me angry at the people working against her. As the novel progressed, we get to see the harsh reality of what Witness Protection can really be like (not the funny, lighthearted takes on it that many movies attempt), and watch as she struggles. Sam is a whole other character who was truly fascinating. I enjoyed watching his backstory unfold and his reasoning make sense, as well as his shift in understanding as he starts to dig into Monica's case. This is the perfect novel for fans of kick-butt heroines, creepy killers, and getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. An absolute must-read!
This book was scary and compelling. The author was masterful in writing believable characters and how they'd react to their situations. I am so glad that this is a series, and I can't wait to read some more!
Incredibly action-packed story. Witness protection, hot romance, secrets. This one has it all! You won't be able to put it down. If you enjoy Janet Evanovich, Rhew's writing is evocative of hers. Sometimes funny, sometimes hot, and always plot-driven action.
Monica is at the wrong place at the wrong time. She is in the library minding her own business when she hears a conversation she shouldn't have. From that moment on everything is taken out of her hands. Being taken to a secret place and later on being in the witness protection program is not how she envisioned her life to be. Monica wanted to be a lawyer and to stand up for the people in need but those plans are no longer in her control. When the people who want her dead are closing in she does the first thing that comes into her mind, she runs.
Sam did a good job while being in the Marine, but getting injures during an assignment ended this career. He wanted to serve his country, only now they no longer need him. Sam worked out very hard to gain as much strength as he could again. He wants nothing more than to go back to the Marine. When he finds out that this is not an option he must look at other possibilities. Sam gets an offer he can't refuse and so his new life begins. He gets his assignments and does what needs to be done with military precision.
This story has different angles and they all add a different layer. I really liked the psychological aspect a lot. How we all are susceptible to manipulation in one form or another. The knowledge of people being trained to take advantage of that really gives me the chills.
Throughout the story the author shares the rules of psychology. This really gives it that something extra.
"stories are, by definition, fiction. trying to formulate a past on the fly while making it sound believable is difficult unless great thought and planning has gone into the structure and background. however, blending elements of truth, no matter how trivial the details, into the tale lend it credence to the ear and can get it past the most honed of bullshit detectors."
- 122 rules of Psychology
122 Rules is a fast pace story which will keep you on the edge of your seat. It is never boring and the storyline is great. I flew through the pages because I wanted to find out what would happen to Monica and the people she is running from. This book really was a great read and I enjoyed it very much.
Well I just finished this book a couple of hours ago so I'm still hopped up on adrenaline.
Deek pretty much grabbed me from the first page with his style. I'm not one for overly descriptive writing and Deek is really good at using description to enhance and not distract. His character descriptions both physically and emotionally are thorough but not overly done, and written in such a way as to inform the reader while still allowing you to "fill in the blanks" with your imagination. His style stays true when setting a scene or situation.
For me, filling in the blanks is one of the joys of reading and I hate it when things are overly done in a heavy handed way, so this was great.
As for the story it's pretty much a nitro-crazy car ride from beginning to end. I enjoy good twists and turns, and Deek was able to surprise me quite a number of times during this story and that's always tons of fun for a reader as well.
Monica is a strong yet vulnerable character without coming across as weak and I found Sam to be an incredibly interesting character as he begins to break free of his military mind set for seemingly the first time in his career.
There were also quite a few laugh out loud moments, which were very much needed considering the intensity of the book.
I will point out that I did in fact receive an ARC in exchange for my honest review and Deek also received a copy of my book for a review as well. It seems we both really liked each other's book which is great because that could have been awkward at the next "writers who write about assassins" meeting.
This is supposedly the first book in a series and I certainly wont need an ARC for the next one, I'll pre-order that bad boy.
If you like thoughtful but fast paced, action based (and packed) stories I really recommend this book.
Monica Sable is in the quietest part of the public library trying to study for her law degree when she overhears a conversation between Mafia boss, Laven Michaels and his hitman, Tyron Erebus.
The FBI have trying to convict him on multiple charges of drug smuggling, corruption and murder, but witnesses have always “gone missing” just as they are supposed to testify against him. They are determined that Monica will not suffer the same fate, so she’s put into witness protection in a tiny little town in Arizona. Her new name Susan Rosenberg and she works as a paralegal in the only law firm in town. If the FBI thought that they had managed to hide her – they were sadly mistaken! Not one, but two hitmen are after her with dramatic and explosive results.
What an excellent read! Deek Rhew has masterfully constructed a story with two heroines. Monica’s best friend Angel is one of the most sensible, rounded intuitive and supportive friends and any girl would love to call “my bestie”. Monica is a feisty, resourceful and enterprising young woman with an attitude which clearly says “Don’t mess with me”. Sam Bradford works for “The Agency” a secret government organisation and lurking in the wings is the hitman, Tyron Erebus.
This is a fairly straightforward storyline that still has enough twists and turns to keep my attention up to the final words written. But then the author did something that had me shouting “NO” because it ends on one of the most shocking cliff-hangers of all time!
Deek Rhew please hurry up and write the next in this series. I want to know what happens to my friends. Yes, that’s how good the book is, I feel I’ve left my friends behind. It’s not often that I say that when I finish a book, but yes, I’ve made some super new friends.
Treebeard Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
Wow, wow, wow! Rhew's story grips you from the start and doesn't let go. He's one to watch as a rising star with his exceptional combination of wit and adventure.
The story begins with a Monica, the daughter of a deceased father and alcoholic mother. She's set to put her difficult childhood behind her when adulthood slaps her upside the head. As the only witness to an incriminating discussion between a mobster and his henchmen, Monica's life is turned upside down when the FBI whisks her off to a safe house. But she's not safe. The mob and an elite military hitman are hot on her trail.
Sam, a former Marine turned government assassin, spends his life on the fringes of society, taking orders and moving on with impunity. But his latest assignment troubles him. For the first time, he questions orders, and it leads both he and Monica down a dark, dangerous, thrilling path.
Rhew's style is unlike any I've ever encountered. He phrases certain instances with the fluidity of a literary writer but retains the humor and intrigue of a commercial writer. His characters are vibrant and alive; they stay with you long after you close the pages. There will be moments when you laugh out loud and others where you grip the book so tightly that your knuckles turn white. Rhew evokes that much emotion and gets you that invested in his characters and their world.
Rhew is one to watch as far as up and coming authors go, and 122 Rules is a MUST READ!
Deek Rhew is a master when it comes to humour. Not only is this a great mystery, thriller/suspense novel, but Rhew adds his own flavour of levity that had me laughing throughout.
This was an effortless read. The engrossing plot kept me eagerly reading until the end. Rhew created a cleverly-written and well-timed novel. I genuinely can't wait until I get to read the next in the series!
Kudos, Deek Rhew, on a spectacular book!
I received an ARC from the publisher, but I've already pre-ordered my own finished copy.
After overhearing a conversation between a mob boss and his hired hitman, Monica Sable is forced into witness protection. She is sent to a nowhere town, lying low until the trial. Ex-marine Sam Bradford was taken in by the Agency and turned into a weapon; able to track, manipulate and kill. And the Agency has just sent him to kill Monica Sable.
122 Rules begins with Monica, as she is pressed into leaving her life behind, despite her arguments and several attempts to escape. It's never completely explained why she's so resistant, although to be fair the agents are pretty aggravating. Her frustrations with her new life and the almost grudging acceptance of the people around her are believably written. So is her reaction when someone tries to kill her.
The story then doubles back, taking up Sam's story. Medically discharged from the army he joined to bring a sense of order to his life, and divorced, Sam's depression and sense of rootless are easy to understand. It's also easy to understand why he jumps at the offer to be part of something again when approached by a nameless man representing the Agency. He ends up doing some pretty despicable things in their employ, seemingly without qualms. But when assigned to kill Monica he begins, through an internal dialogue, to have doubts about what he's doing, enough that he hesitates before taking a kill-shot.
The third act kicks up the action with Monica trying to stay one step ahead of the people trying to kill her and Sam tries to get to the bottom of his misgivings about the job.
It's quite easy to imagine this as a film. The writing is very visual, keeping the story (and the reader) moving forward. I enjoyed it immensely. If there are any drawbacks, I would have liked to know more about the titular rules and the Agency but there's a chance I'll get that in the sequel. For anyone in the mood for a fast paced action thriller, this will be a great book to pick up.
I have already had the pleasure of reading ‘Birth of an American Gigolo’ by Deek so I was thrilled when he asked if I would be willing to give 122 Rules a go.
Being familiar with his writing style I figured I would be in for an engrossing tale. This is a different genre but boy can he adapt. A fast paced thriller. Monica has had it tough growing up, the situation with her parents has possibly shaped her to become the driven character she is. Determined to make her way through law school until shit happens and she finds herself in the wrong place etc
Follow this action packed glimpse into her turmoil as everyone seems to be after her, the police just antagonise, Sam the assassin is in pursuit along with several other undesirables!
This is fuelled by suspense, action, friendship, humour with a side-helping of sarcasm all the while we are willing Monica on. I really liked her and her relationship with Angel. Sam is a complex soul and he really has to question his integrity on this case … does he do as he is trained ‘shoot and kill’ or can a more endearing side emerge…
I am fascinated by Deek’s imagination the words seem to magically flow and grip the reader in their trail. Just as you think you can take a break the next page miraculously turns and you find yourself so absorbed until time loses all meaning. The ending has left me eagerly anticipating the next book! This is definitley one to put on your reading wish list.
Many thanks to Deek and the publishers for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest opinion.
Wow, there is no messing about here! This book starts off with a bang when on page one a young lady is bundled into a car by four people. Are they police or criminals? Is she innocent or guilty and if so, of what? And if they really are who they claim to be then why do they act in such an aggressive manner?
The book was very hard to put down as it continues at the same cracking pace with action and intrigue throughout. The only slightly slow point came when the main character was introduced and two days of action were repeated but told from his perspective. However, the different views were necessary to the plot and as soon as we caught up the action was again moving at a rapid pace.
Deek Rhew incorporates the familiar themes of sex, violent fights, explosions and car chases; all described well. There was one short sequence which I felt stretched the borders of good taste although it was essential for us to know how terrifying the perpetrator could be.
The book was so easy to read and the writing was of a high quality with excellent spelling and grammar throughout. It appears to be the start of a series and whilst the story is neatly wrapped up at the end there are sufficient hanging threads to lead to a sequel.
As you have probably realised I loved this book and I have no hesitation in awarding the five stars that it deserves.
The story which leaves you wanting more is definitely worth reading countless times. I read this book in one sitting and wished the story hadn't ended.
The plot revolves around a prime witness who is forced to go into hiding. It deals with chasers, the victim, mob, name the elements in a thriller and they are all here.
Deek has an amazing writing style. His narration kept me on tenterhooks. Throughout the reading I was kept guessing at every page. If I say I was part of a movie unfolding before my eyes I won't be wrong. The imageries were vibrant and touched every corner of my mind. In fact there was not a single sense that was left untouched. Language used did perfect justice to the story. It ensured that I never stopped midway.
Two characters stood out. One was the perfect protagonist and the other one was a protagonist with shades of an antagonist, or was he an antagonist with traces of a protagonist? For that you need to read the story. As a reader, I loved every twist and turn that happened in their lives, how perceptions changed and the emotions they felt.
To sum up, the book is a must read. It is excites, amazes, and keeps a reader engaged till the last page. You need to read it to believe it. It is a thriller that promises and delivers by keeping the readers engrossed. There is a cliffhanger so I am sure there is a sequel.
P.S - Thank you Erin and Deek. The storyline has been awesome and I can't wait to get my hands on the next one!
I rarely read thrillers,preferring science fiction but this book sucked !e in so quickly I couldn't stop reading until it was finished. Having an government assassin riding a Triumph instead of a Harley was a nice touch in !y opinion. The characters were fairly well developed or at least had a back story to explain how they got where they were. I liked book and will now have to get next in series to find where everyone ends up.
This book was a great thriller. Monica Sable, a young law student, overhears a notorious mob boss and one of his goons in the library. She records the conversation on her cell phone, and before she knows it she is put into witness protection, much against her wishes. Monica's new identity in a dull town in Arizona doesn't last long, as both the mob, and another unknown, good looking assassin have her in their cross hairs. I definitely would recommend this book.
This book is a brilliant work that delivers twists and turns whilst also having characters you become invested in and thanks to the excellent delivery by a talented author it makes for a fantastic read.
I've just finished this eloquent novel of suspense, danger, romance, friendship, crisis, emotional blackmail, and adventure...now I need to take a breather, control my heartbeats, and figure out how to express the total satisfaction I received from this book.
Instantly, I became concerned about 'Monica.' Now, I learned Monica was a scholarship student in New York. I learned that after I was personally incensed by how she had been kidnapped, mistreated, stuck in a room, and the personnel around her were out of a Stephen King thriller book.
Monica, is tossed in the Witness Protection system, without any honest choice. Intimidation and fear are the tools the so-called protectors use upon this young, troubled woman. Bringing up her past without true analysis and discarding her current life as expendable collateral.
This fast-paced and action filled psychological drama showcases the inner thinking of the professional assassin, the crime enforcers, and the witness. Monica's life is forever altered. She valiantly tries to hold onto her one friendship and just wants to become more than she is. You have to read the book to see if she succeeds.
All I'll say here is I hope there is a sequel shortly. Although to write a book with this dimension of understanding the human psyche, means countless hours of study and putting the storyline on a story board. I truly can see this becoming a movie.
Go and buy this novel and sit back, uninterrupted, with a expectation of a true thriller. Wonderful book!
Prose: Good. The writer knows what he's doing and has studied his craft. There no amateurish drowning of weak verbs and wasted words. Whenever the rules of good prose are broken it's intentional. (4 stars) I didn't walk away thinking I needed to study his work so no fifth star on prose.
Character & PoV: This is the strength of the book. The two characters are very well developed. It's seen in the word choice and carefully crafted metaphors that fill in the way they see the world. I never felt like an author was telling me a story, but rather each character had their own voice that was clear in their PoV chapters. (5 stars -- a great example of how to differentiate PoV.)
One of my favorite moments in the book is the intersection point. Each character meets the town gossip, who is recently engaged. Their individual reactions to her and the news of her engagement is one of the best foils I've ever read. (A moment that should be studied) Plot: Rhew's open is strong and caught my attention. When the second major character is introduced there is a lot of overlap with earlier parts of the story. This helped me understand his second character, but I found I skimmed most of the repetitive dialogue. Honestly, it's the only thing I struggled with in the book.
Is there a moment when I don't know what's going to happen? Yes. After the mid-point turn in the novel, I had no idea what was going to happen next. Something I love in a story. (4 stars)
This is an interesting thriller told from the perspective of a girl in witness protection, and from the man hunting her. I was a little put off because the second POV comes in a lot later than I would expect, from reading the back of the book. However the character voices are good and help to propel the plot along.
Deek Rhew might be some bizarre love child of a sexy Alfred Hitchcock and a funny Robert Ludlum. As I read, I kept thinking of the novel as sort of a much better written Strikeback (remember that Cinemax show full of guns and explosions and sex?). If the writers of that show were more clever and also capable of creating a fantastic female character like Monica Sable, this might be what it would look like. Rhew creates a world that is every bit as fun. Thankfully it's also fully satisfying as a piece of literature--very well written and clever throughout.