Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Run Away

Run Away by Harlan Coben
Grand Central Publishing: 3/19/19
eBook review copy; 384 pages
ISBN-13: 9781538748466

Run Away by Harlan Coben is a compelling, very highly recommended domestic thriller and intricate mystery. This one is a fast-moving page-turner!

Financial adviser Simon Greene and his pediatrician wife Ingrid have three children, Paige, Sam, and Anya, and from outward appearances they live a comfortable life. The problem is that they haven't seen their drug addicted daughter, Paige, ever since she dropped out of college and disappeared with her loser junkie/dealer boyfriend Aaron Corval. When Simon is told a friend saw an emaciated Paige playing her guitar and pan handling in Central Park, he keeps an eye out for her, finds out when she plays there, and approaches her after her "set." She ran away from him and Simon follows. When he tries to stop Paige, she starts yelling. Aaron appears, and steps in to stop him, but Simon punches him out, trying to follow Paige. By-standers intervened and Simon is arrested. The whole event was recorded on phones and spun as the evil rich guy beating up a poor homeless guy.
Simon deals with all the attention and legal questions, coming out with no charges, when another cop shows up at his office months later with a few questions. Aaron has been murdered and Paige is nowhere to be found. This sets Aaron and Ingrid on a quest to find Paige and keep her safe from whoever killed Aaron. Simon's search leads him to some surprising, dark and threatening places and contacting people he normally wouldn't. Soon his search for Paige is even more complicated, precarious, and dangerous than even Simon realizes. 

Run Away has it all. The writing is pitch-perfect; the plot is complicated, intricate, and fast-moving; the characters are interesting and well-developed. The pages will fly by in this lightening-paced-stay-up-until-you-finish-it thriller. (And I drank an extra-large cup of coffee after work to do just that.) As the twisty mystery unfolds in Simon's search and becomes increasingly complex, it leads to unexpected answers and more investigation. I was surprised at the satisfying final ending. Coben's writing is excellent as is his plot and pacing. I really enjoyed this whole novel right up to the final denouement.

All the characters are well developed and realistic. Simon is a wonderful character - a loving, caring father who would do anything to try to save his daughter. Simon finds himself in the midst of something that is more treacherous than he even knows, but he perseveres, even when circumstances mean he needs some extra encouragement to do so, in order to reach the final answers.
Run Away is an exceptional taut thriller and the perfect choice for escapism!

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Grand Central Publishing.

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