Security, Gina Wohlsdorf's first novel, forthcoming from Algonquin Press on June 7, 2016

blood highway - available soon

Meet Rainy Cain, a tough, troubled, but very smart seventeen-year-old whose primary instinct is survival. Her mother checked out mentally years ago and her father died before she was born. Then one day she comes home from school to find her mother has checked out for good, a suicide, and days later she learns that her father is not remotely dead but has been in prison all these years for his part in an armored truck robbery gone murderously wrong. Now he has escaped and, believing that Rainy knows where her mother hid the missing robbery money, has come to claim his share. 

Forcing Rainy to go with him, he and a young henchman set off on a cross-country dash to northern California where he suspects the cash is buried. On their heels the whole way is a Minneapolis cop intent on bringing Rainy safely home. It is an odyssey that will test Rainy’s considerable instincts, her definitions of sanity and madness, and will push her to the limits of her endurance — physically and mentally — in a desperate struggle to survive. And more than that: to live.


R e v i e w s

A sensational hardboiled thriller as tough and uncompromising as its main character Rainy Cain. Don’t miss this.
— Lee Child, #1 internationally bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers
Wohlsdorf is now one of the few authors I’ll think of when I’m writing: How would Wohlsdorf phrase this? I may never be as casually badass as she is, but I can dream. Her prose is dazzling; her narrator—Rainy, a Minnesotan highschooler—is grittier than hard-boiled true-crime-recounting cops, but also funny, and incredibly hard yet incredibly human, and still a plausible highschooler. Some readers will claim they “fell in love” with her. Rainy would kick those readers in the balls.
— Edgar Cantero, author of New York Times bestseller Meddling Kids
A toughened 17-year-old girl is swept up in the exploits of the criminal father she just learned she has in Wohsldorf’s (Security, 2016) thriller. When the novel opens, Rainy Cain has crafted a persona for herself that even her closest friends believe: She’s a high-achieving high school student and athlete whose single mother works long hours as a cancer nurse. The reality, however, is that Rainy lives with her mentally ill mother and fends for herself completely. Rainy’s complicated survival mechanisms, the deep schism between who she is and what people see, and the profound strangeness and violence of life with her mother make her a uniquely compelling character. She has a distinct voice and a dark, dry humor that brings much-needed relief to the extended nightmare she endures. “Cops love acronyms,” she notes parenthetically after an officer recounts that he “rippe d out his IV, left the hospital AMA, called the FBI,” and “gave them the VIN.” When Rainy comes home on an otherwise normal Thursday to find her mother dead, her well-crafted persona crumbles. She meets her father, who has escaped from prison and seems to just want to spend time with her. They take to the road. There are robberies, chases, seductions, explosions, car crashes, and murders. Her father is just one of several overly protective men with unclear motives. There is also Blaine, the first officer on the scene when her mother died, who positions himself as her white knight. A love story late in the novel adds more human drama and introduces yet another seemingly well-intentioned man. All this plot outweighs the promising premise. Nonetheless, the fast-paced novel maintains its intensity until the end. A memorable young protagonist already accustomed to lies and chaos finds new depths to both.
— Kirkus Reviews