Runner by Patrick Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Runner sets the pace, takes you to your maximum heart rate, and leaves you wanting more.
Here's how it starts: "Sam Dryden, retired special forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she’s running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal—to kill the fleeing child. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the eleven year old, for as long as she can remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government." (Flap copy.)
One of my favorite reads lately. Talk about escape! Great thriller plot. Hero dude, yay! Child in danger, yay! Super-secret semi-science-fictional conspiracy, yay! Sometimes you just want a shoot 'em up, and though in some universe you might think it's easy to write one, it's really not. The writing has to be good, but unobtrusive, the language always serving the story. Since the details are always speculative and sometimes don't hold up, the readers must be so involved and engaged with the characters that they don't notice or don't care about any little glitches, just as in cinema. And Patrick Lee does the job quite well. Sam is a great character and series lead, and the little girl--you have to read the book!
You know by now Miss Em hates regurgitated plots masquerading as reviews, so I will simply close with--it was great. Readers, buy it. Publishers, publish more. Patrick Lee, write some more. I'm going to find his first three books now.
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