The Ascent

Coming Soon


By Adam Plantinga

Formats and Prices




$39.00 CAD

When a high security prison fails, a down-on-his luck cop and the governor’s daughter are going to have to team up if they’re going to escape in this debut thriller from Adam Plantinga, whose first nonfiction book Lee Child praised as “truly excellent.”

Kurt Argento, an ex-Detroit street cop who can’t let injustice go—and who has the fighting skills to back up his idealism.

If he sees a young girl being dragged into an alley, he's going to rescue her and cause some damage. 

When he does just that in a small corrupt Missouri town, he’s brutally beaten and thrown into a maximum-security prison.

Julie Wakefield, a grad student who happens to be the governor's daughter, is about to take a tour of the prison. But when a malfunction in the security system releases a horde of prisoners, a fierce struggle for survival ensues.  

Argento must help a small band of staff and civilians, including Julie and her two state trooper handlers, make their way from the bottom floor to the roof to safety. 

All that stands in their way are six floors of the most dangerous convicts in Missouri.  


  • The Ascent is jaw-dropping, authentic, and absolutely gripping.”—Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of I Will Find You
  • “Adam Plantinga’s debut thriller, THE ASCENT, is a nail-biting ride out of Hell itself. It’s Dante’s Inferno—but with gangs, corruption, bone-breaking brawls, and a kick-ass, determined police officer struggling through it all to save another. It reads with raw authenticity and brutal honesty. Don’t miss this debut of a new crime-thriller star!”—James Rollins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Kingdom of Bones
  • "Damn! I had to hold onto this one for dear life. THE ASCENT is a ferociously propulsive thriller. Plantinga creates a haunted house of horrors that’s utterly convincing, while at the same time keeping the focus on complex, layered, and engaging characters. An outstanding debut crime novel."—Lou Berney, Edgar award-winning author of November Road
  • “If JD Salinger had been a street cop, he’d have written books like Adam Plantinga’s. This book is the real deal - flesh and blood characters, charming wit, and an insider’s pass to a one-of-a-kind white knuckle ride. Plantinga will soon join the ranks of Child and Connelly.”—Douglas Brunt, New York Times bestselling author and host of Dedicated with Doug Brunt on SiriusXM
  • “Not since Joseph Wambaugh released The Choirboys has a cop thriller delivered this level of authenticity, and The Ascent wears it like a badge. In his debut novel, Adam Plantinga weaves a jailhouse tale that serves up thrills from the first chapter through the final page. The book’s protagonist, a world-weary Detroit cop, is a revelation. Watch out, Jack Reacher—Kurt Argento has arrived, and he’s putting his rivals in the shade.”—Nancy Allen, #1 New York Times bestselling author
  • The Ascent is a fantastic thriller that stands apart from the crowd—a high-test, high-stakes action spectacular with true thrills, true grit, and genuine heart. You’ll find the full spectrum from darkness to light between these covers, with a refreshing breeze as the pages fan by. Adam Plantinga is here to stay.”—Sean Doolittle, Thriller award-winning author of Device Free Weekend
  • "Adam Plantinga's debut novel, THE ASCENT, is a red hot blast of crime and punishment, and crackles with sly wit and a jaded authenticity that has been hard-earned by Plantinga's many years as a street cop. THE ASCENT is so damn good that I will read anything else Plantinga cares to write, including his grocery list."—Nick Petrie, author of The Price You Pay

On Sale
Jan 2, 2024
Page Count
352 pages

Adam Plantinga

About the Author

Adam Plantinga’s first book, 400 Things Cops Know, was nominated for an Agatha Award and won the 2015 Silver Falchion award for best nonfiction crime reference. It was hailed as “truly excellent” by author Lee Child and deemed “the new Bible for crime writers” by The Wall Street Journal. His second book, also nonfiction, is Police Craft. Plantinga began his career in law enforcement in 2001 as a Milwaukee police officer. He is currently a sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department assigned to street patrol. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, daughters, and Chow Chow named Ziggy. The Ascent is his debut novel.

Learn more about this author