Title: If I Run
Author: Terri Blackstock
Published by: Zondervan (2016)
My Rating: ★★★★★
SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS
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.
An action-packed thriller suspense novel, I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed If I Run, as I usually do not read in this genre—but I loved this book so much!
While technically considered an ‘adult’ novel, there was nothing unclean or inappropriate, and I found the book wholesome and positive. Now granted, this is definitely a more mature read, but there wasn’t anything inappropriate in it, which I really appreciated. However, some of the plot and themes had a lot more mature elements—nothing inappropriate but definitely better suited for an older audience.
Plot: The plotline of this book was incredibly intriguing and it drew me in from the first page. This book follows Casey, who is running from the police even though she is innocent. As the story progresses, bits and pieces of Casey’s story start to unfold, sliding together to show us what the truth is—and why Casey had to run from it. This story was haunting at times and had a real thriller feel to it, while still retaining a level of emotional depth, really connecting you to the characters and allowing you to really feel their situation. Details and facts were accurate and described well. Scenes were to the point and drove the story forward. Everything came together well; leaving obvious room for a sequel, but still leaving a satisifed and well wrapped-up ending.
I thought the plot was very well structured as well and not drawn out in the least. I liked the subplot that came in towards the end and ended up becoming the main focus, letting the story tie up but still leaving the main plot, the overarching plot, to continue on in the sequel.
Writing: The writing was phenomenal as well, like I've said, done in a very hauntingly and vague way, almost to a creepy feel. It was very suspenseful and once I started, I couldn't put it down. The author so skillfully described the situations and allowed the reader to really understand Casey, and relate to her, and root for her.
Characters: The characters were very well done, with distinct voices. Some of the side characters didn’t get as much development, but I feel that was more to match the vague feel of the story rather than direct lack of development. Casey and Dylan, though, our main characters, got lots of depth and by the end you feel you truly know them.
Themes: I thought the themes of the book were interesting and I could barely grasp them all. I thought the PSTD side thing was interesting and it tied in well. Some of the elements like this in the story were definitely more intended for an adult audience in the way they are described and written as; I, as a teen, understood it all, but all to say there are probably themes there I didn’t quite get yet.
Really, though, it was a fantastic, amazing, totally incredible book and I absolutely LOVED every page. I can’t wait for the sequel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Recommended for ages 14 and up.