If I Run

by Terri Blackstock

Conditional Recommendation: A suspenseful fugitive story of Casey Cox, a 20-something-year-old woman suspected for murder who needs to remain hidden to stay alive.

Age: Young Adult
Series: If I Run, Book 1 of 3
Pages: 305
Published: 2016

Genre: Christian Thriller

It’s difficult to find a thriller that’s fun to read without being too morally gray, violent, or horrendously evil with the ugly realities of criminals and crimes. This book delivers! It has realistic characters with moral compasses, a suspenseful plot, enjoyable twists. I was pleasantly surprised with this book, especially since Terri Blackstock can be hit or miss when it comes to maintaining that delicate balance of not shirking from the evil that exists in the world but also not reveling in it and thereby dragging your readers through the muck of despair. Evil is portrayed as evil and, thankfully, Blackstock doesn’t go into gritty detail but instead leaves the horrors up to the imagination. Even so, I would recommend this book and series for the older end of the young adult age spectrum.

The two main characters are morally good people with overall positive outlooks on life despite their hardships. There’s a hopeful air to their point of views. They are both intelligent and quick-witted, curious—I always appreciate smart, observant characters as they tend to make for a very enjoyable reading experience. Casey in particular, though unsaved, loves people and genuinely cares about their well-being and enjoys their company. This is what gets her into some trouble, because she can’t bear to standby while she knows someone is in trouble or being hurt.

So if you’re looking for a not-too-dark thriller, give this series a go!

Summary from the Publisher

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they’ve 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.

Goodness and Truth

Casey isn’t a Christian, but has some passing thoughts and desperate prayers to God. Dylan is a Christian and prays as if he has an active relationship with God. I thought the spirituality was a minor thread in the book. Not noteworthy.

Well-Conceived Plot

There are layers of mystery in this book that I wasn’t expecting—a story within a story, if you will. You’ll see!

A Lasting Experience

It’s a fun thriller, there’s no better way to put it.

A Satisfying Ending

It’s well done and suspenseful but beware—it’s a cliffhanger!

Recommendation Note

There’s some gore as a murder scene is described and investigated, some violence when evil characters confront good characters,  and allusions to horrendous crimes but they aren’t described in detail.

Where to Find this Book: Amazon* or your local library!

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