Run Away

Review From User :

Simon's eyes stayed locked on the panhandling girl mangling John Lennon's legacy. Her hair was matted clumps. Her cheekbones were sunken. The girl was rail-thin, raggedy, dirty, damaged, homeless, lost. She was also Simon's daughter Paige."

Over the years, I've found myself moved on a deeply emotional level when I read stories about parents trying to save their wayward children. This is likely due to the fact I'm now a parent myself, and even though my kids are still young and dependent upon me for most everything, I still find myself getting lost in the "what ifs" that come with having another person's life being your responsibility. As children grow and become young adults themselves, at what age is the line drawn where they become dependent on themselves and cut out the middle man And at what point, as a parent, are we supposed to step back and let our kids make their own mistakes vs. roaming the ends of the earth to save them from life-altering mishaps These are some of the debates that Coben tackles in his latest thriller.

Don't get me wrong; when I use the term emotional I do not belittle the fact that Run Away is simultaneously a compulsive page turner and a rip-roaring adventure that delves deep in the underbelly of every form of seedy activity you can imagine going on in New York City. Due to Simon and his loved ones being a privileged white family living a more than comfortable life, it was interesting to see how the author picked apart the details of their privilege and how, at the end of the day, it did nothing to protect them from the nightmare they endured. Simon works as a financial advisor on Wall Street and his wife is a pediatrician in NYC as well, and their children grew up sheltered within that cocoon of wealth and providence.

As an avid reader of thrillers and mysteries, we all know it grows more and more difficult to find novels that keep us guessing and entertained for roughly 300-500 pages. The beauty of Coben's books, and what I think a significant number of debuts lack, is the simple aspect of writing characters who come alive off the page and matter to the reader. Once again, Run Away focuses more on drawing the reader in by becoming the conduit to connect reader to cast which results in a memorable read, much more memorable than putting all the proverbial eggs into the "wild, unimaginable twist". Don't get me wrong, there were a few good twists here, and one that I was so blindsided by that I had to reread a certain page THREE TIMES to make sure I was understanding correctly, but the details that have kept me picking up Harlan Coben novels for over a decade now are the deeply personal characters.

And this, my friends, is why Harlan Coben remains KING of the thriller.

*I received a review copy via the publisher.

A perfect family is shattered in RUN AWAY, the new thriller from the master of domestic suspense, Harlan Coben.

You’ve lost your daughter.

She’s addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she’s made it clear that she doesn’t want to be found.

Then, by chance, you see her playing guitar in Central Park. But she’s not the girl you remember. This woman is living on the edge, frightened, and clearly in trouble.

You don’t stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home.

She runs.

And you do the only thing a parent can do: you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Before you know it, both your family and your life are on the line. And in order to protect your daughter from the evils of that world, you must face them head on.

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