Whenever I read a book I often find myself thinking, “What would I do if I were in their shoes?” If I can answer that question easily, then I’m not reading a terribly interesting book. I fully understand what is needed to create drama for the characters and making them all react logically instead of emotionally in many circumstances would take the wind out of the story’s sails. Yet when I ask myself that integral question and find the answer in my head is, “I haven’t the foggiest clue what I would do.” — now we’re talking page-turner.
Runner by Patrick Lee is a chase thriller surrounding a young girl and a soldier who was in the right place at the wrong time. She begs for him to help hide her from men trying to take her away, and his instinct tells him it’s the right thing to do. From that moment on they are on a 24-hour race against enemies that seem to know their every move. The soldier never wavers in protecting the child, but he needs answers. Why are they chasing her? What makes her special? Is she dangerous? What he finds out changes not only how he looks at her, but her pursuers as well. There may actually be nowhere on this earth they can hide.
Runner fits squarely in the realm of comfort reading; quick page turning action, tense character interactions and a story that doesn’t stop from the word “GO!” Beach reading, cozy couch moments or even just waiting at the bus stop for the next ride to come along, this is a story you can jump right back into without needing time to ramp back up.
I enjoyed the twists and turns it took — especially because, like I said earlier, I couldn’t figure out what I would do in their place. The cage created by Lee for the main characters is not just gilded, but electrified. The last time I remember reading through a book so fast was The Da Vinci Code and the final Harry Potter novel (although the latter was mainly so I wouldn’t hear from other people how it ended.)
Sometimes thrillers like this can be too easily passed over as ‘too light’ or ‘fluff,’ but that’s a sad miscalculation in many cases, including this one. Every now and again we need to take a break from the heavy tomes of non-fiction or incredibly dense sci-fi epics and revel in the enjoyment of great action writing that yanks you from page to page, chapter to chapter.
Runner is a frantic, mind-bending thriller deserving of your time and attention.