Review

Inside Out

by John Ramsey Miller



You might remember a book from 1996 titled THE LAST FAMILY, John
Ramsey Miller's debut novel. Miller, a journalist and photographer
of some renown, had a winner on his hands. A fast-paced thriller
dealing with retribution and rough justice, THE LAST FAMILY left
its readers wanting more. It was published to critical and popular
acclaim, and more and even greater things were expected from
Miller. Readers waited. And waited. And waited. It appeared as if
Miller had retired. Fortunately, that was not the case.

INSIDE OUT introduces U.S. Marshal Winter Massey, a somewhat
unassuming gentleman who attempts to balance the twin duties of job
and single parenthood while keeping his priorities straight. At the
beginning of the novel, Massey is reluctantly inducted into a team
assigned to protect Dylan Devlin, a contract killer who is taking a
turn as a Federal witness against Sam Manelli, possibly the last of
the old-school gangsters. Manelli's reach doesn't stop at his cell
bars; knowing that Devlin's life is the only thing that stands
between him and his freedom, Manelli arranges a contract hit on
Devlin. The resulting carnage leaves the government's case in a
shambles, and the reputation and life of Greg Nations, Massey's
best friend, tarnished.

But the contract is not quite complete. Devlin's beautiful wife
Sean escaped the hit as the result of Massey's intervention. She
apparently was blissfully unaware of her husband's occupation, yet
she too is now the target of a group of seemingly omnipresent
assassins. Meanwhile, Massey is attempting to salvage Nations's
reputation, despite orders from his superior to the contrary.

He soon learns that all of what has happened --- the contract on
Devlin, the apparent culpability of Nations --- is minor compared
to a major clandestine operation being carried out by a shadowy
organization that answers to no one but itself. Massey quickly
finds himself alone, unable to trust anyone, with only his wits and
talent to guide him through a labyrinthine puzzle where the first
misstep will mean death not only for himself, but also for his
loved ones.

Readers who fondly remember THE LAST FAMILY will find INSIDE OUT to
be well worth the long wait. Massey is a believable hero, one who
is a balance of lethal talents and real-world compassion. More
importantly, Miller is a first-rate author, plotting and writing
with a muscular confidence that draws the reader in almost from the
first page while slowly weaving layers of intricacy around what
initially appears to be a deceptively simple plot. Readers who
become addicted to Massey will not have to wait long for another
dose --- UPSIDE DOWN, a second Winter Massey novel, will be
published in late June 2005, with yet a third, SIDE BY SIDE,
scheduled for publication in the fall. Clear your calendar now, and
jump on board.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 22, 2011

Inside Out
by John Ramsey Miller

  • Publication Date: May 31, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense
  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Dell
  • ISBN-10: 0553583379
  • ISBN-13: 9780553583373