Can a book written by a best-selling Christian author that begins with a girl covered in blood running from a murder scene be anything but wonderful? When that book is If I Run by Terri Blackstock, the answer is, “NO!” You may be tired of hearing me say how great all the books I’ve been reading this year are, but I promise you, I have read some of the best fiction I’ve ever read in just the past couple months. Terri Blakcstock has written some incredible suspense novels in the past. Those that top my list are Predator, The Last Light Series, Downfall, Double Minds and Covenant Child—just to name a few! I will definitely be adding If I Run to that list.
Casey Cox is running away from her friend Brent’s murdered body. She’s covered in blood, and she knows her DNA and fingerprints are all over the scene. She also knows that if she’s caught, she will not be able to prove her innocence, if she’s even given the chance. She goes to her apartment and packs a few things in a bag, takes all of her savings, and runs away. She begins a new life for herself, determined to find enough evidence to find Brent’s killer—and the people who murdered her father thirteen years ago. Brent’s isn’t the first body that Casey has discovered. When she was only twelve years old, she found her father hanging from the ceiling fan in their living room. Her family isn’t convinced it was suicide, but the local police ignored all evidence to the contrary. Brent was trying to help her find the truth, and he paid the ultimate price. Brent’s family is determined find Casey, so they hire an old family friend to chase her. Dylan Roberts is a retired CID officer, struggling with demons of his own. As he digs into Casey’s past, he can’t seem to reconcile the friendly, outgoing girl with the one the police say brutally murdered a friend. As he follows Casey across the country, he realizes that he must first find out the truth about Casey’s father before he can find the truth about Brent.
If you’re looking for a good read that will have you biting your nails before you reach the end, this is it! I literally could not stop reading this. Casey is a compelling character, and you will really feel like you know her. Her friendly personality and helpful nature get her in trouble along the way. I found myself begging her not to help every needy person she met, but her kindness got the best of her. She definitely made some wrong choices, and these nearly led to her capture several times, but she decided that saving others was more important than saving herself. Dylan’s battles with PTSD and his determination to find the truth about his friend’s death are another highlight of this novel. His struggles are real, and at times heartbreaking. As his research begins to reveal a sinister plot, he isn’t sure that he can trust his instincts, and he’s no longer sure what’s real. He prays for God’s will and guidance, while Casey, who isn’t a Christian, is learning that there is a God, Who does hear and answer prayers.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Murder, dirty cops, intrigue and deception combine for a fast-paced thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I was shocked when I turned a (digital) page and realized it was over! I don’t know how I will wait until Ms. Blackstock writes the next book in this series. I laid awake half the night just thinking over it all again. I promise you that If I Run belongs on your “best books ever” shelf, too!
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own, and a favorable review was not required. Look for If I Run on sale on or around February 16.