Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.
But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?
Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.
Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over seven million books sold worldwide.. She has had over thirty years of success as a novelist.
Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in a U.S. Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual “new kid,” her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.
In 1994 Terri was writing romance novels under two pseudonyms for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dell and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening prompted her to switch gears. At the time, she was reading more suspense than romance, and felt drawn to write thrillers about ordinary people in grave danger. Her newly awakened faith wove its way into the tapestry of her suspense novels, offering hope instead of despair. Her goal is to entertain with page-turning plots, while challenging her readers to think and grow. She hopes to remind them that they’re valued by God and that their trials have a purpose.
When Casey discovers her friend Brent injured and left for dead she tries to resuscitate him,. However he doesn't make it, and now Casey is covered in his blood and knows she will be blamed for his death. She feels she has no other option but to leave town as she's certain that no one will believe that she didn't kill him.
Was Brent killed because of what they have found out about her past?
Casey was devastated by her father's suicide when she was twelve years old. She has always questioned his death and what really may have happened to him. She has been trying to get to the truth. But there are people who don't want her to know the truth. Are they responsible for Brent's death? Casey may not just be running from the police but running for her life.
Dylan Roberts is suffering from PTSD after working as a Criminal Investigator in the Army. Because of an incident stemming from his PTSD, he was discharged. On top of all this he's devastated to find out his childhood friend, Brent has been murdered. Brent's family wants to hire him to try to help find Casey Cox.
Dylan takes the job but quickly finds out there's a lot more to this story than meets the eye. He realizes that Casey is not your normal fugitive. While he tries to figure things out, Casey is still doing the best she can to remain hidden. As he researches everything he can about Casey he starts to feel uneasy, he just can't see Casey as a cold blooded killer. Things are not adding up.
Did Casey kill Brent?
The story flows well with Casey and Dylan's alternating points of view. Engrossing and fast-paced I was really anxious to find out what was going to happen next. Quite a few twists that caught me by surprise. On the run and alone, Casey knows she's wanted for murder and has to get creative to remain a step ahead.
Well written and with characters that I really enjoyed reading about. I especially LOVED Miss Lucy and thought that the story of her missing granddaughter was an excellent addition to the book. Casey and Dylan are excellent characters and many readers will probably find themselves rooting for both of them, like I did.
When I first requested this book I didn't realize it was the first in a series. In my defense it didn't say anything on the Netgalley page. However, I should know by now to go check Goodreads as right at the very top of the page it does say (If I Run #1). Oh well at least I'm not in the middle of a series this time.
So while many things were wrapped up at the end there was a big cliff-hanger that I wasn't expecting. I did feel a little bummed as I wanted to know everything that happened. All in all it's not a big deal as I can and probably will read the next book but I guess I'm not a huge fan of cliff-hangers.
This is the first book I've read by Terri Blackstock and I did enjoy it. Here's hoping book #2 is coming soon!!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Warning: This is a Christian book AND it ends in a cliffhanger. I think this should have been in the synopsis--I would never have requested this book from NetGalley had I known these facts, especially the first one.
Note that I can read books about any kind of religion, I have no problem with that if it's part of the plot or a trait of a character (or many). The thing here is that it's disguised as a normal thriller but it in reality is just a story trying to shove christianity down the reader's throat as the only possible solution and that A) isn't true and B) makes me feel cheated. Had I know it was that kind of novel I wouldn't have read it and it wouldn't now have a one star review from me, so maybe the publisher should reconsider and state this, clearly, in the synopsis. At the end the author's notes reminded me of some radical christian's speeches we have been hearing around lately, leaving an incredibly bitter taste in my mouth.
About the story itself: the plot had some potential but it wasn't well executed--many plot holes and errors in the police work's descriptions. And it ends with no real resolution (probably there will be a sequel but I won't read it if that's the case).
I received an ARC of this novel from the Publisher via NetGalley, which did not affect my opinion in any way.
I actually enjoyed this book. At first I was not really into it because the writing felt childish but it's a thriller so I wasn't really looking for the writing to be that great anyways. I usually only care about the plot line and how well the author builds suspense when I read a thriller and Blackstock managed to do that pretty well. I'm also sure if I was younger I would have enjoyed it way more. I just wish the characters had more substance but it is the first books so we'll see when there's a second one if it gets any better because I really do want to know what happens next.
I really enjoyed this book up until the end, the end is what made me give it 4 stars. I wanted there to be a wrap up to what all happened, but don't get me wrong, it didn't just end. There is an ending of sorts, it's just one of those where you go... nooooo.. not like that, let's have an end game.
Casey's best friend Brent was killed and she leaves town in a big hurry. Yeah I know what your thinking, if you didn't do it, why would you leave. There is a huge story behind all of this and I'm only going to give you a little bit of that information.
The police find Brent stabbed to death and Casey is a person of interest since she fled the state.
Meanwhile, Dylan is coming home from the military because of his PTSD. It's funny because him and Casey actually talk to each other on a bus when she is on the run. So, Dylan tries to get on with the police department and the best he can get is a PI job, because of his PTSD. He is hired to look into Casey's case.
Dylan finds out different things about Casey as he is digging into her life, like she found her father hanging from a rope when she was twelve-years-old. But...even then, Casey didn't think it was suicide and this has haunted her all of her life.
Dylan also feels that something just isn't right with the whole situation because Casey is a good person from all he has dug up about her and from people that have known her all of her life. They also knew her and Brent were very good friends. Let's just say, there is a lot of corruption in the world.
Casey runs from town to town and ends up in a little place in GA. When she was on the bus she became friends with this sweet older woman who talked her into staying in her town. It was a really sweet place.... accept... Lucy's granddaughter was taken when she was around fourteen-years-old and the cops said she ran away and gave up. Figures!
Casey gets a little job in town where she meets different people that come in to get their cell phones fixed. During this little job she runs into a creeper and solves the mystery of the missing girl. That's all I'm saying on that.
Casey also buys some disposable phones and sends one to her sister's in-laws home. They are able to contact either other this way. Casey learns that Brent sent her a package before he was killed and her sisters mails it out to her along with some other mail so no one could track it down. Well, this doesn't get past Dylan. He confronts the sister, finds out some things on his own, tells the sister, more people get killed, and he ends up helping Casey bring the real killers to justice (at some point).
Like I said in the beginning, I really enjoyed this book, but that ending! Why!!! Either way, I think people that enjoy mystery books would enjoy this one as well. It's also a nice feel good book, with the exception of people being killed here and there, but I digress.
*I would like to thank BookLook Bloggers for a free print copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
Before we begin, I wasn't aware this book was of the Christian genre, but doesn't matter because the blurb really sold it to me.
Also I thank Netgally for giving this opportunity to share a bit of this story with you. This is an honest review.
My first thought was that of a song because of the blurb. The blurb states how a cop is after the MC, Casey, and she is laying low because she's suspected to have murdered someone named Brent. The first song I thought of was I'm Coming After You by Owl City haha. I think it's because the song's about a chase and this is exactly that! A race and chase against time and each other!
There's some suspense, interesting action (like a psycho sex slave trafficker), and an on-the-run girl who may or may not have killed.
The policeman after her/the investigator (I know they're different, but I'm going to call him an officer because he's siding with the law and pretty much acting like one), Dylan, has an interesting backstory of PTSD and ties with the family of Brent when he's hired to track Casey down, but his conscience and intuition tells him something is wrong (and it's not just the murder).
Overall I enjoyed their race to the finish and the momentum from the very first page steering it there with action. (Action is a must when it comes to any genre!)
I'm curious to see where this goes.
Also there is a cliffhanger. Kind of wish I'd have known that.
This book is good with the suspense and mystery. My interest didn't waver with wanting to find out what was really happening. The puzzle of Casey's past and why she is hiding unwound at an appropriate pace. Dylan's background is interesting also. I liked the two main characters (the book alternates between their two voices). Casey did seem too good to be true often. She was on the run for her life but took the time to clean a public restroom and be the bastion of morality in every situation. Also, I like Christian fiction, but I did find some of the times when witnessing or preaching was added to be odd and ill-timed. The police procedures didn't seem realistic, but, overall, the story was a good experience for me. I was interested in finding out what eventually happens, and I had planned on getting the next book until I read the author's note at the end. I would have probably given this book a 3 star rating, but for the author's note. It ruined my entire experience. If it was written elsewhere, I wouldn't include it in my rating, but since the author added it to the end of the story, it is including in my rating of this book. ***copy given in exchange for an honest review***
I picked this book up from my library with the optimistic intention to read it in a day. I was pleasantly surprised when the 300+ pages of content proved gripping enough for me to fulfill that goal (even during the Olympics!). In fact, this one was so full of dramatic statements on truths and absolutes, that I grabbed sticky tabs only a few pages in and journaled off them once I was done. It handled the ideas of suicide, depression, trauma, justice, bravery, vengeance, retribution, the nature of man, and the nature of God masterfully. I believe the content could easily appeal to anyone, on or off the religious spectrum. The split POV was handled with skill and I appreciated every character introduced. The lack of romance was not blatant as if the author intentionally avoided it, but perfect, due to the intrigue between characters that formed out of a lack of relationship. And I can say all of this with extreme praise, because never have I enjoyed reading mystery. I think following the accused and her struggle to do the right thing even while fleeing the law made the difference for me. Casey's selflessness comes through in such instances, despite her circumstances. As a result, I thought the ending was perfection, even if there is another book forthcoming (hooray!). For suspense and violence, I would recommend 14+
Terri Blackstock’s first installment in her riveting new multi-layered complex mystery crime series, (If I Run #1) IF I RUN, features a strong unstoppable heroine you will root for, a decades old conspiracy, corrupt cops, a former war veteran with PTSD—a grandmother (readers will love), and her teenage granddaughter which has been missing for two years- landing in cold cases.
Caught in the cross-fires, separate cases, which intersect with twists, and turns around every corner—Explosive, Intense, Suspense! A race against time, leaving you holding your breath as you continue turning the pages. Compulsively addictive--a suspense thriller, you cannot put down. When things are not as they seem.
As the novel opens we meet Casey Cox in the aftermath of a brutal murder scene. Brent Pace’s body. Age thirty, he was stabbed six times and been dead for several hours before he was found. The man she cared about. The man trying desperately to help her. She put him in harm’s way. He was too close to the truth, and they killed him. She found him—he was dead.
Now they will be after her. She cannot go to the police since they are part of the problem—the cover-up. All she can do is be smart, think fast, and stay one step ahead of them, until she can gather enough information to bring justice. She is a fugitive on the RUN. How will she survive?
Scared and alone, she has to disguise herself with little time. Her mom and sister know she is innocent and all the people close to her. She has to run. She will not be able to use credit cards or her cell phone, nor rent a car. She writes her landlord a check and note, and with a wad of cash, her backpack, a pair of scissors, and a box of hair dye, she takes a Greyhound bus—scared for her life to Texas. She knows they will be after her soon.
Casey cannot believe she is hiding from the law when her parents raised her to respect authority and believe in the system. However, that was before the system turned on her (them). To her family, committing murder is as foreign as committing suicide.
Readers get bits and pieces of a backstory. Her dad was a cop. At age twelve he committed suicide and she was the one to find him. However, she knows her dad suspected some people on the force – a cover-up, and before he could take the information over their head, they killed him. He would never commit suicide. It was all staged and meant for her to find him.
Casey and her boyfriend, Brent had been working on the case to gather more information. He told her he had more damaging information and she was on her way when she found him dead. She has always been haunted by her dad’s death and knew something was not right. They got too close to the truth, and once again, the bad guys eliminated the source. This time it was Brent.
She knows they will have cops in every city looking for her. They wanted her dad to pay, her boyfriend, and now her. She knows it isn’t justice that will make them come for her. Justice never had anything to do with it. When you cannot go to the cops, where can you turn. Who can she trust?
When she and her sister were cleaning out her dad’s things they found $35,000 he saved over time throughout his career and marked for a Rainy Day. They gave it to their mom and she insisted they split it three ways. She has never touched it or put it in the bank. She knew her dad made the provision for her as if he had known one day she would have to run from his enemies.
She loves that her dad had the foresight to leave them the money. However, he would have been horrified to know that she had inherited not just his money, but also his foes. This is her rainy day. Her dad always taught her that humanity demands that you stand up for what’s right. He told her there would come a time when she would have to take risks.
On the road, from diners, cheap motels, libraries, changing buses, and periodically checked the internet – she is wanted for murder. She has to get a fake ID, and a credit card in order to rent a car. She becomes the name, Grace. She has to remain under the radar.
Then she meets a kind older woman on the bus, Miss Lucy. A woman she does not know or knows nothing about her. They connect. She has no clue how their paths will connect again. Miss Lucy’s granddaughter has been missing for two years, and now she is going to live with her daughter in South Georgia. Casey/Grace is intrigued with this case and cannot believe the cops are not doing anything to find her. Lucy a victim of domestic abusive (a great backstory), thinks Grace (Casey) is on the run from a domestic abuse situation, and she urges her to come to the south Georgia small town to start over. She does not tell them the situation.
In the meantime, Dylan, a former cop in the army --Criminal Investigations Division is suffering from PTSD. He is out of work and the force does not want to hire people who could snap. The CID had an issue with it which is why he was discharged. They send you to places where bombs go off and explode, blowing your friends to pieces before your eyes. Then they punish you when you can’t stop thinking about it. Escape is not an option. He has to keep moving forward.
The worst news, Dylan’s lifelong friend (Brent) has been murdered—he has not seen in years. Now the family wants him to be a pallbearer. Murder does not seem to fit with this well-to-do family. The family wants to hire him as a private investigator to bring in the killer, Casey Cox since the police department needs more help. They will pay all his expenses. How difficult could it be to bring in one gal?
The police department says if he does a good job, he may be able to get into the force even with his disabilities. Dylan thinks his dreams may have come true; however, he has NO clue what he is getting himself into. The closer he gets to tracking down Casey, and the more information he learns, makes him suspect someone besides Casey. No way she could be the killer. Things do not seem right, nor do they add up--the cops are not telling all.
In the meantime, Casey is so smart (loved her) staying one step ahead of the law, and after meeting Miss Lucy, she decides to get a job and rent a small cottage nearby. They connect again. She buys burner phones and sends one to her sister. A bit of good news happens when her sister says a package came for her. (Brent had some damaging tapes which he had mailed to her before his death). She has to get the package.
While Dylan is trying to find Casey, going from one town to another…he digs deeper. He now has the corrupt cop on his tail, the one which will not supply information he needs, and Brent’s family pushing him. He cannot express his suspicions. He has to find the girl before they do, so he can figure out what in the heck is going down.
In the meantime, Casey (Grace) is playing detective herself, when she figures out who may have Lucy’s granddaughter. (this part was chilling) Putting herself in harm’s way, from a psycho, who kidnaps young girls as uses them as sex slaves--she is trying to save a missing girl, and a baby--- while trying to save herself, and bring her dad and Brent’s death –to justice by collecting enough evidence on the dirty cops to go to the feds. However, each time she gets closer, the person turns up dead.
Dylan has no clue what he is walking into. WOW, this is one powerful fast-paced story—redemption. When you get to the end, one piece of the puzzle is solved; however, Casey is still on the run - a cliffhanger.
Cannot wait to see what happens next with Casey (now she will need a new identity since the cops are on to Grace). On to another southern state. NC, VA, or TN. Hope it is NC. Round one conquered. Round two, and three to come. Keegan and his cohorts are still after her; however, now this guy Dylan is right in the middle.
The second installment cannot come soon enough…please let it be in 2016. Not sure I can wait another year. A huge fan of Terri Blackstock, have enjoyed her other series; however, I think this is her best yet! A lot going on with some great human dynamics mixed with the cop/crime saga, and fabulous character development- Loved it! Also pre-ordered the audiobook.
As always, the author discusses good versus evil, and Christians are not immune to this fallen world. He will one day bring forth justice which is always a comfort. He is in control. In the meantime, we need to stand up for our beliefs and wait for our redemption.
What an inspiring new series, with an edge-of-your-seat cliffhanger!
This is a thriller series for Christians. It's a Christian book that doesn't shy away from the evil and violence and sorrow of the real world, but still offers glimmers of hope. It's about a young woman who's been crushed by the weight of evil for her entire life and still tries to do what's right no matter the personal cost. It's about a man whose PTSD cripples him, but he still works to follow his God and do what is right. It's about an incredibly corrupt man who has no qualms putting his crimes on a young woman who's completely innocent. It's about rescuing the helpless and defending those who can't defend themselves.
I definitely recommend this.
Sexual: nothing graphic. A subplot involves a young woman who was kidnapped a few years before, presumably for sex slavery, although this is never even mentioned; the only indication is her baby. One villain has a mistress. A guy watches porn in the library to the disgust of the heroine.
Violence: This is a murder mystery, so there's some fairly gory and detailed descriptions of dead bodies. None of them are glorified, however, so I felt it was okay on that count. A couple of female characters are beaten by a man at one point, and suicide is considered early on, although it's quickly discounted. Dylan, the male MC, has severe PTSD as an Iraq veteran, and his memories are vivid.
Drugs, etc.: In a video, some of Casey's adult friends are drunk, although she doesn't get drunk and tells them that she'll drive them all home. She mentions a time when she drank a little too much and got loose-lipped about a secret. Dylan refuses most meds to deal with his PTSD, but he does take some--they're not addictive, however, and he refuses to put all of his weight on them. I feel like there's some other drinking, mostly from adult villains, though.
Overall four stars, and on to the next books in the series!
I am a Christian, but I am often disappointed in the genre that is often categorized as "mine." It is very disappointing to me that I often find Christian Fiction full of cringe-worthy tropes and less-than-stellar characterization and writing style. If I Run proved to be yet another installment of that kind of lackluster storytelling in a genre that ought to pursue excellence, but rarely does.
Despite its blurb, I really didn't find many thrills in this novel, it was more of an angst-filled travelogue. Two thirds of this book couldn't seem to justify its existence. The novel is full of filler that stretched out the scenario needlessly. Because of the dual narrators, information is often repeated. Every drink of water is related to us. There is an entire chapter dedicated solely to a discussion about tattoos and a myriad of other dull conversations that would have been better off cut from the final manuscript.
The fact that this is a trilogy feels more like a marketing ploy than anything else. I suppose the suspect on the run and bestowing good deeds on random citizens during their race across the United States was a salute to The Fugitive, but the dull storytelling seems like a poor spoof of a scenario that's already been retold several times.
In all honesty, I will admit that thrillers are, increasingly, not to my taste, as the genre (by necessity) dwells on the evils of humanity. For me, the news and social media is more than enough to keep my Depravity Awareness up to standard levels, so this isn't something I seek out much anymore while reading. I do take my hat off to Blackstock because - unlike other sin-infatuated authors - she mercifully skipped around details. Nevertheless, I could still fill in the blanks for the horrible events that had happened to various characters. In short, there wasn't nothing very enjoyable about the book, at least to my mind.
If you can't get enough of The Fugitive (or prefer to read / watch a Christian version of that story) you might very well enjoy this story, but it wasn't for me.
Note: To anyone offended by my personal estimation and generalization of Christian Fiction. I would be happy to offer some references of what I consider really good Christian Fiction, or to clarify my stance on what that genre should be. It's not a view shared by many, for it's a drive for excellence, intensity and depth - but it is a view from which I cannot waver.
Once again, this is a book that I only picked up because it was assigned for the book group I run at the library where I work part-time. This book is utterly ridiculous. I don't even have time to type out all the plot holes and illogical actions and events that take place. Suffice to say, I'm a Christian and I *still* found this book insufferably preachy. Also, at the end of the book, Blackstock claims that there is truth to the Planned Parenthood "Baby parts" conspiracy theory that has been debunked a million times.
I find myself unable to rate this book right now, because I am just SO angry. (Edit I ended up rating it one star because I can't get over how mad I am.... this was absolutely not marketed honestly and someone should not have surprise ranting and raving about "dead baby body parts" shoved down their throat after reading an entire novel with no obvious zealotry).
This book is really good, the writing is good, the plot kept me hooked from first page to last, etc.
But I really don't appreciate a book suddenly taking a hard left into proselytizing. There was no warning in the description, nothing on the cover etc to give any indication that 7/8 of the way through this book, characters were going to find peace and comfort in the lord Jesus Christ and know that there is evil in this world and that the lord will one day make the earth right and yada yada yada. Look. I consider myself a Christian, actually. But this was so extreme and heavy handed, and combined with the second sentence of the author's note something about how body parts of "dead babies" are being sold.... I have zero respect for the author as a person right now.
If you want to market and sell your writing as conservative Christian rhetoric, that's fine. This is America. You're welcome to do that. But I feel tricked and I don't like it. I can't believe I wasted my time reading a perfectly wonderful little crime novel, only to be berated at the end about body parts from dead babies (a completely fabricated and ridiculous rumor that someone TRIED to start that was of course discredited and led to either a civil or criminal suit against the person who faked it, by the way.)
GTFO with that. I AM SO MAD.
And here I sit reading the second one because I care about the characters and want a resolution to the plot.
Edit: Don't be suckered in to reading he second book because you care about the plot.... I'm about 1/10 of the way in, and the main character with PTSD is now talking about how superior he is for not taking antidepressants, and singing the praises of his buddy who lost two limbs for not taking pain pills because that stuff is for weak minded people. This author is honestly a disgusting human being.
**Second Read** - still a great story! I re-read it in a couple days.
The sign of a great book for me is how long it takes me to read it. IF I RUN took me all of two days! I couldn't set it down. I've read many of Blackstock's books, and this one has a unique voice and storyline I know her fans will enjoy. I was hooked from the start! I also appreciated that the male and female leads were, refreshingly, NOT involved romantically. There is something that happens to propel a subplot that was very coincidental, but since I was already engrossed I managed to suspend my disbelief. There's room for a sequel at the end, and I hope it comes soon.
I could not put this book down! It’s been quite some time that I’ve read a book this quickly! Terri Blackstock worked her magic again with this one. Page after page of nonstop suspense. I love that she had three cases going at once, keeping my mind racing, trying to figure them out. The only thing with this book and I know it’s part of a series, is that it ends with nothing being answered yet for Casey Cox and the murders in her life. I know it will be continued in the next book of the series, but it’s a tad disappointing when I don’t know when I’ll get to that next book. I’m hoping soon, because this is shaping up to be a really fantastic series!
This was such a wild ride, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
- The characters.The main characters were LIKABLE and realistic and flawed . . . but also just super awesome people whom I would love to know. Casey and Dylan were both super smart. (Seriously WAY smarter than most characters in these types of books. Ahem. :P) I'm not ashamed to admit that Casey's chances of survival are much higher than mine would be if our roles were reversed. xD Both characters use their heads and really think through situations. Casey also clearly loves people and has such empathy for others. And DYLAN. He has PTSD and just deserves to be safe and cared for. Someone please help the poor chap. Honestly, both characters were pretty great. ;)
- The plot. SO MUCH ACTION. It never stops with this book. It took me till about the halfway point to really really get into this book (aka I WAS NOT ABLE TO DO ANYTHING BUT THINK ABOUT THIS ALL-CONSUMING STORY #HELP), but I never lacked interest, even in the beginning. The plot is HEAVY, though. No light fluff here. Murder, suicide, abuse, PTSD, and depression are just some of the issues addressed in this book. It was all handled so well, though, and I appreciated the depth it added to the story. It's definitely not your typical, bland "crime book," my friends.
- The themes. AGAIN: I am all the impressed. Terri Blackstock handled all these heavy themes so. well. Lots of really poignant themes and discussions and just ALL THE YES.
- The writing style. I'm surprisingly not bothered by first-person present tense as much as I used to be. Still not my favorite, but I think it worked well in this case. This is more of a thing I neither loved nor hated, I s'ppose. :P
- It's just . . . not usually my typical read? Crime/thriller books aren't normally my favorite things in the world, though I do read them on occasion. Because of that, I would have to say this isn't my FAVORITE book ever. It's a matter of personal preference, honestly. I also didn't love the writing style - again, personal preference - but it didn't bother me really either.
CONTENT: Like I said, lots of heavy themes in this book. For that alone, I would recommend it to those 16+ (or very mature younger teens). It's also a murder so of course there is some violence. If you're really sensitive towards that, I wouldn't recommend this book. Things aren't heavily described, but violence isn't shied away from either. There's no language. There's a scene where a man is mentioned to be viewing pornography. This is portrayed as a negative thing, but it still could be uncomfortable for some people (like me).
So did I like it? YES INDEED, OLD CHAP. This is a keeper. I read it in only a little over a day (oops, sorry, Life) and am DYING to read the next book. Now, if only book three was already out . . .
An enjoyable suspense read. Casey and Dylan are both interesting characters. The clues and relationships are good, and Miss Lucy gives a nice Christian testimony in the course of the story.
However, I dropped a star for two reasons. When I ordered the book, I had no idea it was written in present tense. This POV is extremely off-putting for me, and it made it very hard to read. To be brought so close to the moment of the story obscures the action and the perspective, and leaves the reader focused only on the MC's action. It became particularly awkward when the scenes included flashbacks to earlier events, because we got the blow-by-blow of two different character watching the same video just in order to stay in present tense.
Also, the library scene with the guy viewing porn was too much. The same incident could have done without the level of description. Spending three pages on the horrid librarian not being concerned, and the guy refusing to use headphones to mask the sound of his dirty video, and the other patrons sitting around rolling their eyes...honestly, it felt like a hit against librarians. I might have believed the scene if it happened in Atlanta, or anywhere up north, but in the regular "Bible Belt" area, the librarians are really diligent or the patrons are quick to complain. Durant, OK is still a fairly "small" town and the scene wasn't believable there. (In addition to the too-much-description gripe.)
Anyway, despite the POV issue, I'll read the next book, simply because now I need to known if they ever catch the perp and how Casey survives.
This book is perhaps the best suspense novel I’ve ever read.
And I don’t say that lightly. I’ve read a lot of suspense novels. I’ve loved a lot of suspense novels. I will love a lot of suspense novels in the future. But If I Run… there’s just something really special about this one.
In fact, I can already guarantee that it will make my “best of 2016” list. I can also guarantee that it will top my list of recommended reads for suspense fans from here on out.
What makes If I Run so unique?
Well, for starters, the voice is different than what you find in a typical suspense novel. If I Run is written in the present tense, first person, and alternates between the perspectives of the two main characters – Casey and Dylan. It’s certainly different from Terri Blackstock’s usual style. But, wow, does it ever work! The present tense amps up the tension, putting the reader right in the center of the action. I felt as though it was happening right that minute, not as though I were hearing about it from the narrator after the fact.
I literally could not put this book down except when I was forced to do so by trivial things like, oh, an eye exam or driving across town. In fact, I debated pulling out my Kindle and continuing to read during the lag times of the eye exam… but considering that I’m basically blind once my contacts are removed, I figured it would be a lost cause. Although… I maybe could have increased the font size enough on the screen…to, you know, one letter per page. ;) It’s also a good thing that eye exams don’t involve a blood pressure check because my heart was pounding through most of this book! So much tension and twists and suspense… I’m sure my pulse was sky high lol. In the best possible way!
The dual perspectives give both characters such vivid dimension, and it’s no surprise that I fell in love with them both. Casey – love her heart – though she’s a fugitive on the run, her personality just won’t let her stay in the background and avoid people who need a friend. She touches lives at every stop… which unfortunately works in Dylan’s favor as his search for her progresses. But through Dylan and his persistent research into Casey’s life, we see even more intricate facets of her character. Here, Blackstock has definitely mastered the art of showing the reader the details rather than telling – and it makes the story all the tighter.
Bottom Line: I just don’t even have adequate words to explain how much I loved this book. I feel like I’m just gushing (probably because I am), but I’m still so floored by If I Run. The ending…. oh goodness, I need the next book in the series immediately. NEED. I may not be able to relax until I’ve read all three lol. (Pull it together, Carrie….) Ok. Let’s try this again. Bottom Line? If I Run is a stunning thriller that needs to be at the top of your to-read list. Part The Fugitive, part its own identity, it is a masterfully-crafted book that will leave you breathless… and frantically stalking the Googles for any word on a sequel. To quote Dylan Roberts himself, “Casey Cox is smarter than the average fugitive.” And you’re invited to tag along.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
This was a quick, easy read. 300 pgs in 3 hrs....I can't explain how I read it so fast, except there must be large spaces between the words. It wasn't a bad story, and it did have suspense, but I am giving it one star due to the religious undertones and specifically the author's notes and her talk of christians being persecuted. First of all her story was pretty ridiculous, and an obvious start to a new series which she is addicted to writing, but to end it with a rant on her belief of god and scripture has turned me off of ever reading any more of her nonsense or preachings. I didn't feel it had anyplace in the novel. If she wants to be a religious writer, that is her right, but it is my right not to have to read it. I think it should be marketed appropriately. This was not a religious novel, except for all the undertones, and the authors notes at the end really offended me!!
I just went and read other reviews and I am blown away at so many 5 starts....most people think this is the best suspense novel ever and I must disagree. While there was suspense, it was a ridiculous story, with a predictable outcome. I can't say ending since it didn't end.....just another sequal for Terri Blackstock.
Mrs. Blackstock has woven an entirely incredible story in the first POV. At first, I wasn't sure if I liked this certain point of view, but after the first couple chapters I didn't mind. I think I felt a deeper connection with both Casey and Dylan as I got to see inside their heads and feel their emotions more. Casey has literally become one of my top favorite characters. Casey tried so hard not to leave a trail behind her, and yet, everywhere she went she left an impression and impact on people she met. People remembered her because she went out of her way to be nice and courteous to them. I think we, as believers, should all try to follow that example. I highly recommend this book if you're looking for a clean, captivating, suspense-filled story that will leave you to wanting to read the next book in the If I Run series.
This is a simply told story told in two voices. The first is that of Casey Cox who we meet at the scene of a murder. The murder is that of Bent Pace, a close friend and Casey flees from the scene. She knows it is no good contacting the police, they have failed her before. The other choice is that of Dylan Roberts, a war veteran with Post Traumatic Stress. He is a childhood friend of the man murdered and hired by his friend’s parents to fond Casey. Everything he learns about Casey seemed to counteract the idea of her being a murderer, but then if she is innocent why did she run? I liked the way we got to know the thought processes and stories of both these characters. This was a quick read that kept me interested throughout even though I thought there were a couple of things seemed a little far-fetched, like her taking time to clean the toilets when she was on the run. It seemed at times she was just a little too good and caring to be entirely believable. That said, I still quite enjoyed this novel until I got to the end. Firstly my copy gave no hint that this was the first book in a series, and so the ending leaves things rather up in the air. Then I came to the note by the author and that was a real turn off. It added nothing to the book and in my opinion should never have been included. These factors led me to rate this book lower than I was initially thinking. So, an enjoyable read but you probably want to make sure book 2 is out before you read this one.