If I Run

If I RunIf I Run by Terri Blackstock
Series: If I Run
Genres: Suspense
Published by Zondervan on February 16, 2016
Pages: 320
Also by this author: Twisted Innocence

 

About If I Run (from the back cover):
Casey knows the truth.

But it won’t set her free.

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.

 

A real page turner’ is perhaps the simplest way to describe this story, and it’s also the perfect description.

Despite the ‘if’ in the title of If I Run, from the first page, Casey is in fact running for her life. And she runs during the whole book. That may sound boring, but I can assure you—it’s so not! The one qualm I held with this story was sometimes everything sort of seemed like it landed in Casey’s lap. Yes, she’s a smart girl and could be wise enough about staying off the gird, but it appeared that she tended to meet the right person to help her at just the right times. HOWEVER, I really didn’t mind the coincidences one bit. All I cared about was Casey. I wanted her to be okay. I needed her to be helped. I was rooting for her, because I was totally invested.

‘A real page turner’ is perhaps the simplest way to describe this story, and it’s also the perfect description.

The reader not only got to follow Casey’s first person point of view, but the story alternated into Dylan’s as well, and I enjoyed both viewpoints equally.

Dylan’s PTSD label hindered him so when the opportunity arrived for him to earn a spot with the police department he jumped on it. Only nothing was as it seemed. His internal conflict on whether he could trust his own judgement was believable and only strengthened the plot. Not only is Casey’s life in the balance, but if Dylan’s intuitions were wrong, well, his ideal future’s on the line too. Combine that with wanting to help his friend’s parents find a killer only adds to the man’s stress level, and of course the suspense fact of the story.

The main subplot does a full circle, but when I arrived at the ‘The End’ I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters. Seriously. Was. Not. Ready!

The main subplot does a full circle, but when I arrived at the ‘The End’ I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters. Seriously. Was. Not. Ready! I assume If I Run is book one in a series because it has to be with the ending it had. I must beg Ms. Blackstock to write quickly. I’m beyond ready for more of Casey and Dylan already.

–Megan


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 from 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.

This book is perhaps the best suspense novel I’ve ever read.

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!

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.

The dual perspectives give the main 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.

The dual perspectives give the main characters such vivid dimension, and it’s no surprise that I fell in love with them both.

I just don’t even have adequate words to explain how much I loved this book.  The ending…. oh goodness, I need the next book in the series immediately.  NEED.

Part The Fugitive, part its own identity, it is a masterfully-crafted book that will leave you breathless

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.

–Carrie

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