If I Run by Terri Blackstock

If I Run by Terri Blackstock is Christian suspense.

If I Run by Terri BlackstockBack cover copy: 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.

My review: One of Casey Cox’s best friends has been killed and she’s the prime suspect because her DNA is all over the crime scene. Casey isn’t the murderer, but is still the prime “person of interest” – especially because she ran instead of going to the police.

She has her reasons for running and for not trusting the police – good reasons, once you get further into the book and learn more of her past.

Casey turns out to be good at staying just ahead of the police and Dylan Roberts, who was hired by her friend’s parents to track her down. But she’s also such a good soul at heart that she can’t keep to herself and avoid notice. From taking time to clean dirty counters in a public restroom to speaking up when a man is looking at inappropriate websites in front of children, she can’t stop herself from helping others however she can.

That’s the side of Casey that Dylan keeps encountering as he’s trying to find her: friendly, selfless, a truly good person. Everything he learns is at odds with the picture the police have painted of Casey.

In the end, Casey and Dylan both have to make choices that will either help themselves or help others – and isn’t that how life often is? We don’t live in a vacuum, so our choices and behaviors affect other people whether we stop to think about it or not. Circumstances can change so that things we’ve always seen to be good suddenly become bad (or vice versa). Sometimes we have to dig deep to find God even though we know He’s still there. And there are times when we all have to decide whether we’re willing to stay true to our beliefs.

None of these aspects of the plot were obvious or preachy, but they were there when I started thinking about what lessons If I Run held for me as a reader. Dylan and some other characters are Christians but they’re also imperfect and relatable (as we know is always the case in real life).

Bottom line: It’s been a long time since I’ve read one of Terri Blackstock’s books and she’s still a master storyteller. It was so nice to read a book with a plot that kept me interested, characters I could connect with and nothing in the storyline that seemed a stretch to believe. Challenges cropped up all along the way, but they built on each other in a completely realistic way. The two remaining books in the series, If I’m Found and If I Live, will definitely be joining my ever-growing TBR pile. 

Who should read it: Teens and adults who enjoy modern-day suspense storylines should enjoy If I Run. It kept my attention but wasn’t so suspenseful that it kept me from sleeping soundly. 😊 It’s also worth noting that although If I Run has light mentions of relationships, it’s suspense rather than romantic suspense. Know when you pick this one up that it’s a great read but doesn’t have a definite romance thread, if you look for that in a book.

 

Book details: If I Run

Author: Terri Blackstock

Genre: Suspense

Publisher: Zondervan

Publish date: 2016


 

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