The Runaway by Nick Petrie

Read May 2022
Recommended for thriller fans
★   ★ 

I’m not the audience for this book. You like this author? Awesome. Move along. Nothing to see here.

Here’s the deal: there’s this person I’m dating and this is the second book they gave me to try. The author is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, so there’s a semi-local connection for us, and we both rather like mysteries.

This is 100% not a mystery.

This is a thriller, decently told, but full of triggers. I get what the author is doing here, so like, whatever makes him happy to write, but it’s totally not my jam. I should have stopped while I was ahead, but dammit! My dating friend has passed so many books on to me and I have had such little time to read lately that I was getting a guilt complex that they were being generous and I had so little time for their little thoughtfulnesses. So I wanted to give a couple the good ol’ college try and not be a opinionated, self-limiting person like I normally am who says, ‘no thank you, I know what I like, and almost always it’s quirky sci-fi mysteries with antisocial heroes, except when they are quirky fantasies with antisocial heroes.’

It begins in the past with Helene, working at a rural gas station and reflecting anxiously on the direction her life is headed. I almost quit after chapter two. I was pretty sure the potential threat was going to end in an actual rape, but partner wanted me to hang out long enough to meet Peter Ash, series hero. His perspective is in the current time period, so it means it takes a few minutes to figure out the situation, and much longer to figure out which bad man is the current bad man, if you know what I mean. So I admit to Petrie getting a little natural curiosity going as to that, but quite honestly, not enough that I would have kept going without my friend’s encouragement.

The female character is actually kind of interesting, in a naive, but scrappy kind of way. Peter Ash, on the other hand, is pretty stereotypical, PTSD post-war amazing survival/combat skills main man (strangely, have not run into one of those as a woman yet). Think Joe Pike, for instance. Or Jack Reacher. Or even Harry Bosch. So, not as interesting, honestly.

I will say there are a couple of interesting twists, one in how the thriller plays out and a much more interesting one in a particular character. The villian ends up being completely uninteresting once it is clear he is completely *(spoiler–sociopathic) and not in a good way. I really started to dislike it during the last quarter when it went off the rails.

Oh, and there is literally a *(spoiler–refrigerator female.) Yikes.

Guess what?

No thank you; I know what I like.

*mild subject spoilers

About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.