I’ve been a fan of Terri Blackstock’s writing for years when I was working in a Christian bookstore while in college and stumbled across her Newport 911 series. And then I devoured her books when they came out. But I did not remember her writing most of her books in first person POV (and yes, I went back and looked, most of her books are written in third person POV). But her latest, If I Run (available Feb 16, 2016), proves that she is a master of both styles.
Casey Cox is on the run. There’s no use cleaning up after herself. Her dad was a cop. She knows how difficult it is to cover up evidence when you’ve pre-planned. Not when you’ve walking into your best friend’s house to find him dead and instead of calling the cops, you go into shock, trying to save him, tromping around in his blood. The only option left is to run, to save your family the embarrassment of a murder trial.
Hired by the victim’s parents to find Casey, Dylan Roberts (a soldier with the stigma of PTSD) has questions from the beginning of his search. The girl is smart, always seems to be a few steps ahead of him. But when he begins to dig around, to speak with Casey’s friends and family, he doesn’t believe she’s got the MO of a murderer. Does she have her own form of PTSD? What made her snap?
As Dylan chases the truth, he begins to unravel a conspiracy that goes back at least thirteen years. But can he get to the bottom of it, find all of the evidence before it’s too late for Casey?
This book is intense from the first paragraph with Casey wiping the blood off the soles of her shoes. I couldn’t help but root for her as she used her intelligence and knowledge of police procedures to escape. Dylan seems like a good guy, one who wants to do the right thing, despite his PTSD. He wants to find the person who murdered his friend.
And while the book is written in first person (from both Casey’s and Dylan’s points of view), it does not distract from the story. In fact, getting into these two character’s heads is what gives the story more depth. Some of the people Casey meets as she flees from a murder conviction, and what she believes will be her death, are lovable and friendly. They share the hope of Jesus with her. They want her in the family of God.
She doubts a God who would allow the tragedies that had happened to her to take place. Yet, when she’s in some of her darkest moments, she finds herself crying out to him.
I will warn readers, this book does not have a neat and tidy, satisfying ending. No, there are strings left undone, questions left unanswered, just like in real life. While I’m hoping we may catch up with Casey and Dylan in a future book, this one does not look like part of a series, so it may only be wishful thinking on my part. But still, an entertaining read worth delving into.
***Booklook Bloggers and Zondervan Fiction provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.