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Deadly Driver

front cover of the book Deadly Driver by J. K. Kelly

A thriller by J. K. Kelly... Not a book about racing, but almost.

I must admit that I was expecting a racing book... I was wrong...

By Stuart Rowlands

Fri, Apr 30, 2021 12:53 PM PST

Book Information


Published by: J.K. Kelly Consulting, LLC

Paperback 323 pages

(Not priced as yet. Preview Copy)

Publishing date: Deadly Driver will be available just before Father’s Day - in print, eBook, and audio format on Audible and iTunes.

ISBN: 978-0-9994099-8-5 paperback

ISBN: 978-0-9994099-9-2 eBook

Illustrations: courtesy of the publisher

When LACar Editor-At-Large, Doug Stokes coaxed me into writing this review for the new (on sale July 14) J.K. Kelly thriller “Deadly Driver”, from the book’s title and the cover I must admit that I was expecting a racing book. 

I was wrong... 

Instead, I found an easily-readable thriller with little or no gore that’s set against an exotic Formula One background.  The hero here, one Bryce Winters is a top racing hero.  Seemingly his major ambition is to win a second F1 World Championship crown thereby relegating Mario Andretti’s single title to a footnote in history. 

Right … this guy already has one F1 World title plus Daytona 500 NASCAR and Baja 1000 off-road victories … but he’s greedy for more. 

You would think that Mister Winters would find racing dangerous enough, but the plot gets pretty thick when the CIA accuses him of murder and begins to blackmail him.  

front cover of Deadly Driver - a book by J. K. Kelly
The cover of Deadly Driver is easily judged.. But you know what they say about that.. Judging a book by its cover.

With females being almost as deadly as the male, he enters a dark and dangerous world of cyber security filled with multiple assassinations, villains, one or two remarkably well built young ladies, and a wealth of enemies. A/I is everywhere, and it’s not just the CIA but the Russians, the Chinese - and even family members! - that keep cropping up with deadly intent and frequency. 

I must admit to being something of a fan of ‘noir’ fiction with their wonderfully exotic turns of a phrase like: “he ripped the thin silk from...” or “...the knife slid easily between the victim’s third and fourth ribs.” 

Disappointingly for me anyway, little of the above is present in “Deadly Driver.” Instead, we are given a mouth-watering, jaw-dropping, mind-bending world tour of F1 Grand Prix circuit opulence including the ultra luxury hotels, sublime restaurants, private jets, and even a few nights in white satin. 

That would all perfectly fine of course, IF there was word here of practice, qualifying or an actual Grand Prix that was just dripping with the sounds of screaming 1.6 liter, V6 engines reaching 200mph at Silverstone or banging tires at Monaco, but it doesn’t. 

This is a pity, as author Kelly has a wonderful background in racing at many levels including as a freelance writer and photographer for magazines like Super Stock & Drag Illustrated, Car Craft, and Hot Rod and PR Director for the Gatorade/DiGard 88 team and driver Darrell Waltrip. 

In essence, “Deadly Driver” is a well-written adventure story with a dashing protagonist cast in the James Bond mold – but (as you may have heard a few times by now) judging books by the cover is not always a surefire thing … Just to be clear, this is not a book about racing.

A Note From Editor-At-Large Doug Stokes

With a nod to life, sincere imitations, and art, Rowlands sent along these updates about two present day/real-life Formula 1 teams and their association with one side of the new world wide cyber-guerrilla war over vast amounts of confidential information and the protection of it.

McLaren Signs Up Darktrace to Defend its Data

In fact imitating fiction – Darktrace, the world’s leading autonomous cyber defense platform has signed up as a major sponsor with the McLaren Formula One race team.

orange race car coming out from a pit-stop
McLaren Signs Up Darktrace to Defend its Data

McLaren, one of the most successful racing teams in Formula One history operates at the pinnacle of the most technologically advanced racing series in the world, with connected technologies powering the team. Any disruption caused by cyber-attackers – whether that be access to world-leading IP, racing strategy, or data from connected sensors on race cars — could be the difference between winning and losing. 

“We rely on Darktrace’s AI to automatically fight back against attacks wherever they are across the infrastructure — before damage is done.” -Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing.

CrowdStrike Announces Global Partnership with Mercedes-AMG Petronas 

CrowdStrike Inc., the leader in cloud-delivered endpoint protection is yet another A/I company to form a global partnership with a top Formula One team. In this case its seven-time consecutive FIA Formula One World Constructors’ Champions Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport manages huge amounts of information – each car produces 500 GB of data alone during an average Grand Prix weekend with a further 5-10 TB produced per week at the factory. Additionally, their operations are founded on a complex network of geographically dispersed workforce and facilities, opening up exposure to cyberattacks.

race driver with a purple helmet with the Petronas logo on it
CrowdStrike Announces Global Partnership with Mercedes-AMG Petronas 

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport will use CrowdStrike’s technology platform and services at their facility in Brackley in Northamptonshire, UK and onsite at race and testing days around the world.

“To win, we need complete confidence in the information and infrastructure that drive our team. I am delighted to have CrowdStrike as our cybersecurity provider and partner." -Toto Wolff Team Principle & CEO, Mercedes AMG/Petronas Formula One Team

Guest writer Stuart Rowlands has written numerous articles and reviews for LACar over the year.  He has recently relocated home and office to the sunny city of Palm Desert, where he swears his golf is getting better and his singing is still relegated to the bathroom with the door closed and the windows shut.

About The Author

Stuart Rowlands's profile picture

Stuart Rowlands

Stuart Rowlands is a long-time publicist with more than 500 events in 18 countries to his credit. Among his clients are the Nobel Peace Prize and Concert, the Quebec Ministry of Tourism, Muhammad Ali, and both Honda and Suzuki motorcycle racing teams. He admits to being a rock publicist in a former life and his resume includes more than a few fan riots as well as being terrified of taking Don King on a media tour. An inspired reader, Rowlands loves good books and we think that he reports on them quite well.

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