Saturday, June 21, 2014

Review: Runner by Patrick Lee (Sam Dryden, #1)

Thriller novels are not a scarce entity nowadays. While few have managed to capture the attention of the readers and few just missing out the entire point of their existence. Author Patrick Lee in his latest offering "Runner" has created another soldier or a hero who stands up against the wrong. So has the author got it right with the story and his hero? Let's find out. 

Ex-soldier Sam Dryden was done being a hero. But when, acting on instinct, he hides a terrified young girl from a group of well-armed pursuers, his fate is sealed.
Rachel can't remember much, but she knows she was imprisoned by the men trying to kill her and that she is important to them. In Dryden, though, Rachel has found the perfect protector. But hunted and on the run, it's only as Rachel's memory returns that Dryden begins to fully appreciate the scale of the dangers they face and then only one thing matters - Don't. Get. Caught.

First look at the title and the cover and thriller is written all over it. The title is simple but the tagline is more catchy. The cover image of two people running on an empty road gives few glimpses of what to expect in the novel. The blurb has been kept short and talks about two people and how they have to survive against the odds. It doesn't gives away the secrets of the book and holds the attention of the reader. 

The story talks about Sam Dryden an ex-soldier who stumbles across Rachel an eleven year old girl on his routine early morning walks and instantly gets connected to her life story. As they run across the length and breadth of many U.S states there are far superior motives to kill the girl. But Dryden becomes a godfather for her shielding the young girl away from menacing agents and the government. So who will win this cat and mouse game? Will they be caught? What is the purpose behind Rachel's assassination? Will Dryden become a hero or end up against the wrong side of the law? That's what the story is all about. 

The exhilarating action, the curiosity to read more and more with every chapter, a twisted thriller and a strong fiction character binds the story together and delivers an action packed thriller. There is no dearth of the unthinkable and the slight little edge the story gets from an unusual angle catches the attention almost immediately. The hide and seek game and menacing drama almost keeps the readers minds busy and over-thinking all the time. There's no eureka formula to decipher the whole plot but still it manages to get the facts and sequences right. The narration vivid and descriptive combat sequences adds to the charisma of Sam Dryden the fictional hero of the story. 

The downside of the book is it's messed up second half and in particular towards the end the story not getting it's befitting due. The lack of a strong antagonist towards the end also leaves gaping holes in the story. 

All in all the book is combo of entertainment and furious events of tell tale. It's like running on a highway non-stop. The book with it's fine balance of action and drama maintains the momentum. The end not able to sustain it though. The grip firm over the characters and set up and making the readers mind work almost for everything. It's a good deliverance with a desire for more in future. 


3 OUT OF 5

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