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Runner (Sam Dryden #1)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  3,657 ratings  ·  665 reviews
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 le ...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published February 18th 2014 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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Archit Kumar I just went through the episode guide for 'Believe', on Wikipedia, and I find the resemblance uncanny. Though not entirely based off it, 'rip-off'…moreI just went through the episode guide for 'Believe', on Wikipedia, and I find the resemblance uncanny. Though not entirely based off it, 'rip-off' would be a wrong word. I had the feeling that most of the concepts thrown in were essentially just an exercise in recycling popular ideas from other works.

Still, having watched nothing like 'Believe', I enjoyed the book. But I wouldn't suggest it to those already familiar with the premise. Newcomers, though, are welcome to try it out. I hope that helps.(less)
Kris I noticed this problem during the first round. I contacted the author via Facebook, and he informed his publisher. The link has been fixed on…moreI noticed this problem during the first round. I contacted the author via Facebook, and he informed his publisher. The link has been fixed on Goodreads!(less)
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4th out of 71 books — 71 voters
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126th out of 663 books — 800 voters

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Community Reviews

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Based on the ratings, I may be in the minority here...

Runner started off with a bang, but fell a bit flat at the end.

I really liked the beginning of this book which is a fast-paced thriller. It started off screeching in the first couple of pages when Sam Dryden is out for a midnight jog. He runs into an interesting situation where a young girl needs rescuing from a group of people (soldiers) who are trying to kill her. Sam is ex-Special Forces and has the capabilities to elude capture.

From ther
Diane Librarian
This novel is like Jason Bourne meets Enemy of the State meets Minority Report.

In short, it's a kick-ass thriller. I inhaled this book in less than a day, pausing only to sleep. And even while sleeping, I was thinking about the story.

When Sam Dryden can't sleep, he likes to go for a jog. One night he runs smack into a young girl, who is fleeing in terror from some guys who want to kill her. Sam, who is ex-military, agrees to help her escape.

What follows is 328 pages of awesomeness. It turns ou
The torrid pace produced eyestrain and finger cramps, as I flipped pages on my Kindle as fast as I could. I literally raced ahead as if I were a RUNNER, which I am on most days. And I might have forgotten who I was for about four hours or so. Or possibly longer. There’s no real way to tell. But my Kindle was juiced up and ready to go, and the story was filled with enough keyholes that I needed a better master than the one currently in my possession. I slipped and slid, and I might have even brok ...more
Nov 19, 2013 Eric rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of fast-paced thrillers
I really enjoyed this thriller, which felt like a cross between Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Identity and Stephen King's Firestarter.

Out for a late night run, protagonist Sam Dryden winds up on the run, aiding a mysterious girl named Rachel who has escaped from a facility with no memory of her life before her time there, chased by men -- professionals -- with orders to kill her.

The book never lets up, making it hard to put down. Despite the breakneck pacing, there is a decent amount of depth to
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
Read my review here...

Or here....

Holy smokes, this book went from 0 to 60 in less than 2 pages and I loved it. Packed with non-stop action, this book had my heart rate going like I was the one running instead of the characters.

Action, suspense, and mind control?

Runner has a supernatural element that blended flawlessly into the storyline. I love paranormal and supernatural books so this was an added bonus. The supernatural element is so perfectly placed,
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Runner was raved about by one of my Goodreads friends, so I picked it up from the library. This story is about a man who happens to be in the best place at the right time, and makes the decision to help a girl that changes his whole life.

Sam Dryden has this irresistible compulsion to go running at night, in a certain area. He's been drifting after his personal loss, and believes this is due to his restlessness, and perhaps an existential crisis. He meets a girl who begs him to save her life fro
Another surefire winner from the new master of high-concept suspense thrillers Patrick Lee. I picked up this book to immerse myself in a quick-read nonstop action thriller for a few days, and Lee didn't disappoint. I guess that's an understatement, not only did Lee didn't disappoint, he crossed my expectations in leaps and bounds.

The initial plot sounded simple enough. Sam Dryden was an ex-soldier and some ex-deep black if-I-tell-you-I-have-to-kill-you stuff who lost his wife and daughter in an
Toby Tate
This is one of those books that can cause lack of sleep due to excessive reading - it's THAT good. Sam Dryden, the main character, is an ex-CIA operative out for a midnight run when an interesting problem is dropped in his lap. A 12-year-old girl is on the run from shadowy figures that want her dead,and who does she - literally - run into? None other than our man Dryden. The girl has the ability to read minds, so she already knows he's the only one that can help her.

Later on, you find out why t
5 star beginning to this novel, but a lot of the cat and mouse paranormal escapades that came after, IMHO, did not maintain that level of intrigue, suspense, or believability as did the first third of the book.

This author knows how to write the easy read "tech absorbed world" fantasy action fare, that's for sure (think X files writer) and I would guess Dryden will have a decent run.

He(Sam)seems overall to reach an average level of characterization for the hero role as the novel progresses. He do
The insomnia was bad again – ever since Sam Dryden had lost his wife and child in a terrible accident five years ago, nights were the worst time for him. So he did what had become his usual night time activity – he set out for a run; long and punishing, but it seemed to help. Leaning on the railing of the boardwalk while catching his breath, gazing out at the dark ocean, he was suddenly aware of a sound which seemed foreign for 3am – spinning around he was almost knocked off his feet as someone ...more
Runner is a high voltage thriller with a dash of science fiction. If you like your suspense thrillers exploding with action from the first page then you will really love this novel. Runner starts in a full-out gallop when ex-special forces Sam Dryen is interrupted on a night jog by a desperate girl who claims someone is trying to kill her. It is quickly confirmed that people are trying to kill her..and now Sam...and the action continues.

I on the other hand want more than chases, gun battles and
JoAnne Pulcino

Patrick Lee

We've got ourselves a brand new thriller writer who gives the reader a real run (no pun intended) for their money! When a former military man saves a young girl from the people she says are trying to kill her, he becomes devoted to saving her life even without her complete story. She can only remember the last two months, and has an uncanny ability to read his mind.

The escapes are not only thrilling, but quite original, and the characters including the soldier and young girl are
This book has non-stopped action from the beginning to the end. Patrick Lee is a new author for me and I highly recommend this book to all action-seeking readers. Enjoy the ride!!
Mike (the Paladin)
I read Mr. Lee's Breach Trilogy and liked it a great deal. So i went out (well actually I didn't go out. That's what we used to do, I actually sent to the library without leaving the house) and snapped this book up. Runner is the first in a new series of books about Mr. Lee's new protagonist Sam Dryden. The word "trilogy" hasn't been used so at this point I'm going with the assumption that this will be a continuing series.

Guess we'll see.

Sam is a mess. He lost his wife and child before the book
"The Runner" is a terrific thriller. It starts when Sam Dryden, former Delta soldier and bereaved husband and father, encounters a young girl (ten to twelve years' old) running for her life while on his nightly run. She is pursued by heavily armed men, and Dryden helps her unhesitatingly. What follows is a really good chase novel, one that is better written than more thrillers, and with greater emotional depth. It turns out that the girl, Rachel, has a very special and dangerous telekinetic skil ...more
Retired black ops specialist Sam Dryden is out for a late evening run when a young girl crashes into him while running for her life. Dryden helps Rachel escape her captors, becoming her protector as they are chased across the country by a powerful, shady members of the military industrial complex and government. Rachel has some repressed mind control skills, and everyone is scared of what she will do when she regains them. I liked that there were interesting plot developments throughout the book ...more
Jan 30, 2015 Joe rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nope
In a word, "Blah."

Runner (1st in Sam Dryden series) has all of the frantic energy of the Travis Chase series (only read 1st two) but none of the satisfaction. I generously give 3 stars for the 1st half of the story I enjoyed before realizing nothing had happened and probably wouldn't (and didn't) happen. It isn't just that the story has no drama, the Firestarter retread just felt like a cheat coming from the author who so capably wrote The Breach and Ghost Country (both 4+ stories, with GC leavi
AND WE’RE OFF! Patrick Lee does not ease us gently into his latest thriller, Runner. From page one he hits the ground full tilt, piles on the mystery and danger and I was riveted, a goner, no longer part of reality, but of the world he has deftly created in a heartbeat. Sam Dryden is living a quiet life, trying to heal from the loss of his family, retired from a life full of secrets and espionage, where survival was an art. When a young girl literally runs into him, begging for help, to be saved ...more
A young girl with godlike power escapes from a military testing laboratory to run straight into the hands of an ex Black Ops "extractor" while being pursued by professional soldiers and shadowy government organizations.

Sound far fetched? Lee ties it all up in a pretty package, dropping details with perfect timing to keep the reader charging through the pages. His point-blank prose becomes compulsive reading, constantly driving the narrative forward without pause. Ain't no loquacious description
Freda Malone
Sam Dryden, retired special forces, is out on his nightly run along the boardwalk of Southern California when he feels a need to stop and gaze out onto the beach and ocean beyond. His instincts compel him to look inland and when he turns, a young girl, barefoot and scared, runs into him. She begs him to hide her, safe from her pursuers who wield guns. He uses his quick thinking and hides her underneath the boardwalk and it is then he makes the decision to keep her safe.

Government men are search
Maybe the best Thriller I've read so far, or wait. Not maybe.

Lee definitely knows how to catch his reader, to grab him and pull him into the story, into Sam's world. And Rachel's.
What I loved about this book isn't only the tension and excitement from first to the last page, but also the characters and their relationship. They seem to be so different from each other - a soldier from one of the hardest parts of the army, and this little girl without parents. That's what I kept in mind from the be
The Runner by Patrick Lee is out of control.

I mean really out of control...

I mean it's an: oh my god, my car has no brakes and I'm going 90 miles an hour down the Wellsville Mountains (located in Northern Utah and generally considered the steepest in the United States)on an oil slick ontop of 2 inches of solid ice in a blinding white-out blizzard/tornado/monsoon triple-hybrid while three wasps are flying around my head inside the car and the radio knob has broken off on a station playing nothi
Runner bursts off the page like Usain Bolt at full speed. Sam Dryden, an ex special forces soldier, who has lost his wife and child in a car accident, is on a midnight run at the seashore when he comes across a young girl named Rachel on the run from bad guys with guns. Before we know it, Dryden is hiding in a precarious position under the boardwalk. But although they escape the bad guys that time, Dryden and Rachel are soon racing to escape myriad search parties, amazing satellite imagery, and ...more
I received a free download of "Runner" by Patrick Lee, through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The book is due to be published in February 2014. This was a fast-paced thriller, and a book I couldn't put down. I was hooked right from the beginning. The characters were genuine and believable...with a heart.

Sam Dryden, retired special forces, goes for his nightly jog on the Boardwalk, in a small town of El Sedero, in Southern California. These nighttime runs had become the norm, to deal
Mark Matthews
(I received an advanced review copy from Minotaur
Description: The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Breach launches his explosive new thriller series featuring former Special Forces operative Sam Dryden.

I went into this book with no previous knowledge of the character Sam Dryden or author Patrick Lee, but it only took a few chapters before I realized that both were simply incredible. The title itself, ‘Runner’ attracted me, and the premise of stumbling upon a life c
Runner by Patrick Lee is a thriller due out in early 2014 featuring a new hero, Sam Dryden. This is a fast-paced, non-stop action book that moves quickly from the opening page all the way to the very end. Dryden is ex-military recovering from a personal tragedy. While out for a jog late one night, a young 12-year-old girl, Rachel, literally runs into him. Rachel is on the run from a bunch of shadowy men whose allegiance and purpose is unclear. All Rachel remembers is that they have held her capt ...more
I received a free eARC copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Wow! What a rush!

This thing takes off running (pun intended) from the very beginning and doesn't let up. Lee has a talent for suspence and for quickly developing characters. Just a few pages in, I cared what happened to Samy Drydan and Rachel and I really couldn't put the book down easily through the whole thing.

This book struck me as something of a cross between The Bourne Identity and Firestarter. Lots of action, plot twists, an
I really enjoyed this book. I think it is exactly what I needed right now. I listened to the audio version and the narrator did an excellent job. The story is a thriller, but with a mystery aspect instead of a scary or gory angle. So there was a lot of action and I found myself wondering what the back story was and what was going to happen next. There were some twists that surprised me, which is always good. I never had the feeling that the author threw something in just to be gross. The shock v ...more
Jim A
Excellent read from Patrick Lee. Sort of a mix of Stephen King and Michael Crichton, a mix of SciFi and paranormal.

Lee has the ability to rachet up the action and suspense and then go back to a normal pace, all within a couple of pages. And he does it without 'cliffhangers', just the normal flow of the action.

This is book one of Lee's new series, with the follow-on book due out in July, according to Amazon's schedule. Now I will go looking for The Breach, book one of Lee's other series.

Many t
One thing I admire is to use a familiar trope, like memory loss, and make it new.
Memory loss in thrillers is something that is associated with Jason Bourne.
Patrick Lee's character is like Jason Bourne, but he does not have memory loss. Instead a young girl he runs into is experiencing it.
She's running from a sinister all powerful secret agency experimenting with psi. Another familiar trope, think Stephen King's Firestarter. Patrick Lee turns that concept on its head in the course of this book.
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বই লাভার'স পোলাপা...: Runner by Patrick Lee 1 8 Jan 30, 2015 11:40PM  
An incredible thriller 2 41 Aug 19, 2014 12:14PM  
Spy/Spec Ops Group: Runner by Patrick Lee 2 34 Jul 30, 2014 08:06PM  
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There is more than one author with this name

Patrick Lee was born in west Michigan in 1976.He started writing by working on screenplays but eventually moved to novel writing.
More about Patrick Lee...

Other Books in the Series

Sam Dryden (2 books)
  • Signal (Sam Dryden, #2)
The Breach (Travis Chase, #1) Ghost Country (Travis Chase, #2) Deep Sky (Travis Chase, #3) Signal (Sam Dryden, #2)

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