Saturday, February 20, 2016

Book Review: If I Run, by Terri Blackstock … Hooked me from the beginning

First of all, it's irritating to me to read the first book in a series and find out that I wasn't warned that the story would leave me hanging, but, frankly, that was the biggest flaw in this book and it's one that I can overlook.

I was hooked from the first paragraph. Casey is in the room where her boyfriend, Brent, lies after being bloodily murdered. The evidence all seems to point to Casey as the perpetrator, even though no one who knows her can imagine that she would be capable of this kind of brutality. Casey, knowing that she will be the prime suspect and that the evidence makes her look guilty, decides to run and hide. When the police can't find her, Brent's parents hire Dylan to find her and the police, desperate to find Casey, reluctantly agree to work with Dylan. Dylan, though, is an Iraq War vet with PTSD.

This is definitely fiction and it moves fast, so there are some things that defy reality: Who keeps $12 thousand in cash in their house, but it makes it much easier for Casey to run and hide? What innocent, law-abiding person is able to establish a new identity so quickly? Blackstock is able to keep the tension high as she develops the story without revealing everything. While Casey is a larger-than-life runaway, her fear and conflicted feelings are real.

Murder is never clean, but otherwise, this is a clean murder mystery — no gratuitous sexuality or language. It is a Christian novel, but it doesn't beat the reader over the head with stereotypical evangelicalism. At the end of the book, the story is clearly not complete, so be ready to read the 2nd and 3rd books. I liked this book.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book through the publisher's BookLook Blogger Review program. I was encouraged to write an honest review of the book. My only compensation is continued participation in the review program.