Kirkus Reviews QR Code
GIRL ON THE RUN by Abigail Johnson


by Abigail Johnson

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-593-17981-9
Publisher: Underlined

The opening scenes set the pace for this stomach-clencher of a chase.

Katelyn’s mother, Melissa, doesn’t want anyone to know her business, and they move often. Why is not clear. Katelyn, ignorant of her mother’s motives, creates an online dating profile for Melissa, blowing their cover. Melissa’s words as she hectically starts packing bags are ominous: “They found us.” Katelyn knows things are serious when Melissa steals their elderly neighbor’s vehicle to use as a getaway car. Narrated in the first person by Katelyn, the story keeps readers as much in the dark as she is. To keep her safe, Melissa leaves Katelyn in a motel room while she goes off to deal with things, leaving Katelyn to untangle a somewhat overblown tale of thwarted love and a cold-case murder. Her first clue appears along with a brutal bounty hunter who busts into her room. Katelyn escapes and, in the process, rescues computer whiz Malcolm, whom the bounty hunter has kidnapped for his tech skills. Malcolm, who is Black in a default White cast, is able to tell Katelyn why Melissa is being sought. Together, the duo enters a cat-and-mouse game, trying to locate Melissa while staying one step ahead of the bounty hunter. The chapters are short, featuring terse chapter titles—“Flee,” “Evade,” “Hostage”—and each ends with a cliffhanger, making this page-turner appealing and accessible for reluctant readers.

Fast and intense, this is a galloping thriller with something extra for romantics.

(Thriller. 12-16)