Wednesday, June 10

Runner - Thomas Perry

Jane Whitefield gave away helping people escape their pursuers when she married her New York surgeon husband, and she embraced her new life of fund-raising and support gladly. The habits of a lifetime are a little harder to lose, though, and despite herself Jane notices suspicious behaviour from the kitchen staff at a charity night hosted by Carey’s hospital. Before she can investigate a bomb explodes, creating confusion and chaos. In the midst of the aftermath a desperate, pregnant young girl seeking assistance approaches Jane. Despite her promise Jane is compelled to help her, in a world where forging a new identity is harder than ever, and with a foe who is not only determined to track down his quarry but who has the resources to back it up.
Jane is one of my all-time favourite characters and it’s a delight to have return from retirement. As with the rest of the series, Perry combines a fast-paced plot with strong characterisation and convincing detail. Jane’s character is rooted in her Native American culture - the lore and traditions of both her tribe and those of other Native American cultures are threaded through the plot.
Christine, the runner, is flawed but determined, and I became sufficiently involved with her story that I actually spoke aloud (“no, no!”) when she did something stupid but plot-necessary. The behaviour that triggered my outburst was understandable and I liked that she took action instead of waiting passively for rescue.
I also liked that, despite the potential cost to Jane’s marriage and family life, Perry finishes Runner with the possibility of another Jane Whitefield novel. Bring it on! – Alex

Click here for a review of the first Jane Whitefield novel, Vanishing Act

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