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Review: Diesel, by Greg Barth

Greg Barth is kicking ass in 2015. He re-released the excellent book Selena in the summer and now he's following it up with Diesel Therapy (Selena part 2). While the summer release blew me away, I now realize it was just table dressing for the rest of Selena’s story. To say this series keeps getting better is the understatement of the year.

Barth keeps the balls-to-the-wall pace he set in the first book throughout the sequel, but he peppers this one with flashes of humanity as we get to know Selena on a deeper, more personal level. We get glimpses into her childhood and how these experiences manifested to turn her into the cold-blooded killer we got to know so well in part one.

This installment opens with Selena incarcerated for the series of events that closed out the first book. She is trying to keep her nose clean and find a way to get her freedom back. Unfortunately for her, she's made some powerful enemies who are determined to break her spirit. They want to further their agenda by having her become their star witness against other high-powered criminals.

Selena ends up showing us she has more internal fortitude than we thought, while getting some help from an unlikely source that help prevent her from being forced into submission by her new enemies. When Selena gets a taste of freedom, she is determined to stop the people who initially sent her on her path of ruin and prevent them from continuing their legacy of ruining the lives of young ladies.

The beauty of this book is the growth we see in Selena. While the first book showed us that she is a tough-ass chick who stops at nothing to get what she wants and keep herself safe, this novel shows us glimpses of her soul and allows us to see she still has a part of her that is compassionate and worthy of salvation. The fact that Barth can bring out the reader’s  sympathy for a character like Selena is a testament to the power of his words and plotting.

Barth is a genius with words. He mixes his action scenes with great character development and superb dialogue. His sense of pacing is spot on and there's not one wasted page, paragraph, or word. Momentum is gained from the opening paragraph and builds to a crescendo in the final scene. The beauty of the closing scene in Diesel is it acts as a dénouement for the book, but the series promises at least one more entry forthcoming.

This is an ass kicking series and Barth is a writer to watch. While Diesel Therapy can be read as a stand-alone, only a jackass would shortchange themselves and not start at the beginning of this adventure with Selena and then tackle this beauty. You can thank me for this advice after you finish the books and finally manage to get your breath back.

Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Derrick Horodyski