RUNNER by Patrick Lee


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Lee amps up the tension in this nonstop, action-packed thriller that teams two unlikely protagonists: a former soldier with a special skill set and a 12-year-old girl in desperate need of help.

Unable to sleep, Sam Dryden stumbles across Rachel while taking an early morning run in his coastal California neighborhood. Rachel’s only 12, but Sam senses there’s something special about the girl, and not simply because a group of highly trained, heavily armed men are chasing her. When Sam agrees to help her, he finds there’s more to Rachel than he or anyone else would first guess, since she’s able to read the thoughts of others. Rachel tells him she’s sure there’s more to her story, but she can’t remember anything else other than that she escaped from someplace where she was being held against her will and that those people are out to kill her. Sam believes her, and after she demonstrates her ability to “hear” his thoughts, decides he will help her, no matter what the personal cost. The two then start on two journeys: a physical one to evade the people who want to kill them and a personal crusade to discover what the mysterious men are trying to hide. In Dryden, Lee has created a hero who is skilled, believable and human at the same time, while Rachel comes across as sympathetic and genuine. The action is nonstop and takes place at breakneck speed with no downtime. Lee’s writing is smooth and uncontrived, and with this book, he enters the ranks of the best action-thriller writers, all of whom got that way by eschewing coincidence, instead making both characters and readers work through every roadblock while searching for any advantage that can be had.

Readers who pick up Lee’s latest should be prepared to miss their favorite television shows, since they won’t put this book down long enough to watch them.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-250-03073-3
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2013


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