If I Run (If I Run Series)

by Terri Blackstock

Paperback, 2016

Status

Available

Call number

813.54

Tags

Publication

Zondervan (2016), 320 pages

Original publication date

2016

Description

Fiction. Romance. Suspense. Christian Fiction. HTML: Casey knows the truth. But it won't set her free. 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. Full-length romantic suspense novel Includes discussion questions for book Clubs Other series from Terri Blackstock: Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration series.… (more)

Awards

INSPY (Winner — Mystery/Thriller — 2017)

Language

Original language

English

Physical description

320 p.; 8.4 inches

ISBN

0310332435 / 9780310332435

User reviews

LibraryThing member benuathanasia
Dear Terri Blackstock: look up "Mary Sue." Memorize what it is. Understand what it is. Now NEVER write one again. The main character of the story is an incredibly intelligent, fun, dearly loved, perfect-in-every-way woman who just so happened to get wrapped up in horrible events beyond her control.
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This book started out fairly interesting as you wonder how the events went down - why her best friend was murdered and why she's being blamed for it. As soon as that mystery is solved (a third of the way through) it goes tumbling downhill. It gets a bit Christian-preachy, the antagonists aren't even subtle in being bad, and the side-plot about the missing teen is WAY too deus ex machina. Also, while I don't intend to finish the series - I'm calling it now: the private investigator is going to fall in love with her (and vice versa) and he's going to help her find God - because that's the only imperfection in her life (according to how the author paints the picture).
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LibraryThing member lamb521
Title: If I Run (An If I Run Novel)
Author: Terri Blackstock
Pages: 320
Year: 2016
Publisher: Zondervan
My rating is 5+ stars.
Terri Blackstock shares a fantastic tale with her readers. Before I share my view of that, I would like to share how her Author’s Note really spoke to my heart. Sometimes we
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forget that what hurts, bothers, thrills, brings joy to us readers also does the same for authors. I needed a word of encouragement, but not necessarily for the same reasons Terri shares her own need for God’s reminders. However, I needed it none the less. The encouragement she shares says a lot, but for me it was a reminder that what we are going through is temporary, and this isn’t the believer’s home. We as Christians must stand up for what is wrong even knowing there will be backlash; we go through trials that turn our lives every which way but loose. More than that one day things will be set right again and Jesus will come back.
When I come to a work of fiction, it is to enjoy a good story. Sometimes that is a western, romance with suspense, historical or even a general work of fiction. If I Run takes off from the first word and never does the tension let up! The main character, Casey, has seen much in her young life, beginning with finding her father’s body and then years late finding a good friend’s body. Now the hunt begins to bring Casey to justice for the death of her good friend Brent as she cannot be located anywhere in town.
To Casey, everyone she loves ends up dying so she wonders, “Why bother getting close to anyone?” However, living a lonely life is starting to wear on her heart, mind and soul. Enter Dylan who has served three tours. He is no longer actively serving, but suffers from horrible PTSD. Dylan wants to be a cop, but with the stress of PTSD the local police don’t feel they can hire him. What ties Dylan and Casey together is that Brent was Dylan’s childhood friend. Dylan is hired by Brent’s parents to find Casey.
As Dylan begins to do so, the tension in the book begins to climb rapidly. Many obstacles are keeping him from information he needs to understand Casey. Terri then brings in another element which is a missing young teen gone from her family two years. Casey has to decide if the cost to locating the teen, which would bring her attention, is worth the cost of being on the radar of those who she believes are evil and therefore cannot be trusted.
I couldn’t put the book down as action plus the personalities of both Casey and Dylan were captivating. I wanted to see if evil would in fact win this time with Casey being caught and the teen still missing. Would Dylan find Casey and not believe the story she has to tell? There are a myriad of possible ways for the tales to end. Great job with the story, Terri, and thanks for the words of encouragement you share with readers!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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LibraryThing member alekee
I love Terri Blackstock’s books, and If I Run is no exception, although the ending did leave me with hope of another book.
What would you do if you entered your friend’s home and saw him covered in blood? A knife protruding from him? Probably the same as Casey did, she tried to give him CPR,
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checked his pulse, pulled out the knife, and tracked her shoe prints all over the crime scene. Of course, she left her DNA there, and took the knife with her.
When her car is later found with the weapon in it, whom do you think the police and public think committed the murder? Now we follow Casey on the run, and was it a mistake to run? As we go deeper and deeper into this story you begin to understand her reasoning.
What a smart girl Casey is and seems to always be two steps ahead of those who are following her. Can she get safely away and make a new life for herself? She loves her mother and her sister, how do you give up family. My heart cried for her and the injustice that is happening, and what compassion she shows her fellow humans, not the heart of a murderer.
Once you pick this book up you won’t want to put it down until the last page is turned, and then you will be looking and hoping soon for another book, don’t miss this, you won’t regret it!
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
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LibraryThing member JudithDCollins
A special thank you to Zondervan and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Review to follow!
LibraryThing member Pet12
If I Run was a quick, entertaining mystery within a mystery. Casey finds her friend Brent murdered and her DNA all over the scene. As Casey doesn't trust the police, she goes on the run. Brent was investigating Casey's father's apparent suicide.
Brent's parents hire Dylan Roberts, an old friend of
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Brent's and an ex-soldier suffering from PTSD, to track down Casey.
The mystery within this mystery entails Casey becoming involved in the disappearance of a teenage girl.
The story is told from the first person perspective of Casey and Dylan in the present tense, which worked fine once you get used to it. This was quite an enjoyable story, but too many things felt contrived.
I hadn't realized that this is going to be a series (I assume), so there is no real conclusion at the end of the book. The other thing I was unaware of before starting this book, it's Christian fiction. While I was happy enough with the Christian references within the book, the author's note at the end of the book succeeded in stopping me from wanting to read the follow-up if there is one. Quite honestly, if the author's note had been at the beginning of the book, I wouldn't have read it. I really don't appreciate having one particular faith advertised to me as the be-all and end-all in the manner done in the author's note.
I'm giving If I Run a 3-star rating based solely on the actual story. My feelings about the author's note did not influence my rating.
I received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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LibraryThing member Becky_L
Absolutely loved this new book and new series by the same name, If I Run, by Terri Blackstock. Glad to see she is returning strongly to the romantic suspense genre that originally earned her physical shelf space in my house (a rare thing).

Told in first person pov,with two different narrators,the
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pursued and the pursuer, eventually the reader pieces enough information together to form an opinion in the case.

We start out by meeting Casey Cox, who is on the lam after discovering a friend's body. Turns out said friend, Brent, was investigating the supposed suicide of Casey's cop father years earlier. Casey quickly goes AWOL, meeting a wonderful "Miss Lucy" on her journeys. Casey has the smarts to stay hidden,except...her biggest fault is an overwhelming need to help other people.

Back home, Brent's parents help the police department by hiring their son's best friend, Dylan Roberts, to find Casey and bring her home. Dylan's credentials? He's former Army Criminal Investigations Division. Problem is, PTSD stopped that career and may prove too monumental for Dylan to overcome to achieve his objective.

It was a great relief to finish the book and be able to breathe freely, without looking over my shoulder in Casey's stead. It was a disappointment to discover that the series has only begun, and now we'll have to wait to find out what truly happens to Casey and Dylan.

"Facts are one thing, but truth cuts to the heart." Blackstock gently inserts nuggets of Truth throughout the novel, encouraging her characters to consider God's path. This is never heavy-handed. A heart-felt afterward
urges readers to acknowledge that a God Who could create a majestic universe surely cares for his human creation...Waiting anxiously for Book Two!!

I gratefully received an e-galley of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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LibraryThing member vintagebeckie
Terri Blackstock is one of my all time favorite authors of suspense fiction. I have been reading her books for years. If I Run is a prime example of why she is a go-to author for me. Wow! Just wow! This book has it all. The action takes off from page one with fresh and intriguing characters taking
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center stage with a unique first person, present tense voice. I found myself turning the pages faster and faster as I held my breath. The exhale finally came, and I can honestly say this is a 5-star book! Highly recommended!

Casey Cox is a woman on the run. With all the evidence pointing towards her as her friend’s killer, she is desperately trying to escape what could certainly be her own death. Dirty cops are chasing her as is a former Army CID agent, Dylan Roberts, who has struggles of his own. As the truth slowly emerges, Casey leads Dylan on a twisting, turning cross-country pursuit.

The first thing that will strike a reader of If I Run is the point of view. Alternating between the two main characters, the first person/present tense puts the reader right in the middle of the action. This intensifies the suspense and ramps up the action. The characters are unique and Blackstock does a great job of introducing their backstories. Secondary characters play a vital roles as well. The reader is let in on the mystery a bit at a time, and soon finds out things are not as they seem. If I Run is the first in a 3-part series, and the ending resolves only part of the story.

My book club has chosen If I Run for its May selection. I don’t know if I can wait that long to discuss it. It is a riveting read, and I predict my book club is going to love it. It is above and beyond what we have come to expect from Terri Blackstock.

Highly recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to LitFuse and Zondervan for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)
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LibraryThing member kaykwilts
I have read every one of Terri Blackstock's suspense books and this is the first one I've read of hers that was told in the first person. It's told in the viewpoint of two persons. At first I didn't know whether or not I'd like reading it in first person but I quickly got into the flow and did not
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mind a bit. Having the story told in first person gets you into their mind. The firs person was Cassie Cox. She is on the run because her DNA is all over a murder scent. Her friend Brent was murdered and she knows she will be accused of this murder that she did not commit. Casey assumes the identity of a deceased woman who is approximately her own age. Casey is not a believer but the Lord throws people in her path who are and has an influence on Casey. The other person is Dylan Roberts a discharged military veteran suffering from PTSD. He has been hired by Brent's family to locate Casey. At first he believes Casey to be the killer but the more he studies her doubts begin to formulate in his mind.

There is another mystery in the story, the story of a missing girl. This mystery is resolved but I will let you the reader know whether or not the girl is found dead or alive. Can't spoil it for you now can I?

I can tell you that if you read this book you won't be able to put it down. Gets ready heavy on the suspense on the last few pages!

The only thing I did not enjoy about this book is that it left you hanging. Casey is still on the run. Hopefully, it will be resolved in the next book.

This book is due to be released on February 18, 2016. Thanks to Netgalley and Zondervan for allowing me to read and preview this book.
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LibraryThing member Harley0326
What would you do if you were accused of a crime that you knew you didn't commit? Would you run as fast as you could, or stay and hope for the best? If you are looking for a fast paced thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat, grab a copy of this book. It has everything in it to keep
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readers up late finishing a story so gripping that you find your heart beating a little faster as you turn each page. The main character, Casey suffers from a traumatic event that happened when she was only 12. She never quite got over it and suffers from PTSD. She is a fiercely competent woman who never backs down. I love her determination and strength. The author has written characters that make you want to scream at them or reach a hand out to help them.

The story really picks up steam when Casey is accused of a heinous crime. She runs without thinking of the consequences. She must prove her innocence at all cost while also trying to prove corruption in the police department. Casey can't trust anyone and the author gives us a story that is torn from the front page of everyday America .

The other main character in the book , Dylan is a true hero in my eyes. He is assigned a case that will have him looking over his shoulders to see who the bad guys really are. Dylan also is dealing with PTSD and has to deal with it throughout the story. Dylan is strong willed and his faith never wavers as he has to face the past that haunts him sometimes. I hope you are ready for a roller coaster ride as you read this book. The author has clearly written twists and turns that have you clinging to your chair as you ride through an adventure that is mystery at its top level. The ending is a cliffhanger so fans of Terri Blackstock will be eagerly anticipating the next installment in this series.

I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild for an honest review.
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LibraryThing member Topazshell
My goodness, "If I Run" by Terri Blackstock is wonderful. It helped me come to grips again with the fact that we do live in a fallen world. People like Keegan, Frank Dotson and other people are deliberately cruel. One of the characters is stabbed six times. Who is behind it all? Try and guess. It's
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shocking. A girl is kept in captivity for two years. It's all heartbreaking.

On the other hand, God's people are just as real and mightier than those who perpetrate awful crimes on innocent people. There are people who have God's goodness in their heart. These are people like Miss. Lucy and Dylan and of course, Casey. I found it amazing that Casey, accused of murder, had the heart to care deeply about a mother and child. she had never met. She was willing to sacrifice her life to save their life. I think of Jesus who is the Greatest One to sacrifice His life for us. Saving us from death before we had repented of our sins.

I also thought about the hardships children face as parents grapple with their demons. Casey saw something no child should see when she was twelve years old. Thank goodness, Terri Blackstock gives hope all the way through the book. At the end of the book, she talks about "real" life. She is a true Christian with the gift of writing. I look forward to meeting future characters in her books.
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LibraryThing member iadam
I received a free advance e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and have chosen to write an honest review. This is the first book in the Casey Cox series. I recommend reading the books in order. Casey becomes a fugitive on the run and is wanted for a murder she didn’t commit.
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Her father was a cop. She has questions and doubts about her father’s death by suicide. Was there a cover up? Dylan, a war weary veteran with PTSD, is tracking her. There are also a couple of corrupt cops who are uncertain of what she knows looking for her. This is a well-written suspense thriller full of twists and turns and an intriguing surprise subplot that held my attention right up to the cliffhanger ending. Casey doesn’t seem to fit the profile of a killer. She is smart and is able to stay one step ahead of her pursuers. There is something else going on here. The action never quits. This is a keeper and well worth the read. I look forward to reading the second book in the series.
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LibraryThing member JoyAnne
"If I Run" is a Christian suspense novel that opens at the scene of a murder and grabs you right there. Kept me reading through all the twists that I loved. Interesting characters and a great ending. Normally I'm not a fan of alternating point of view stories but Terri did it well.

Casey is wanted
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for a murder she didn't commit, her instinct is to hide while she tries to find out who the murderer is but her tender heart won't let her walk away from people in need. Dylan has been hired to find and bring her in. Things don't go as planned and things get even more difficult. Terri Blackstock knows how to write a "glued to it" book!

I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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LibraryThing member Cherylk
I have not read anything but this author but after reading this book I will be putting Ms. Blackstock on my list of authors to check out more books from this author. For anyone who is unsure of Christian Suspense being too preachy, you don't have to worry with this book. Ms. Blackstock shows how
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Christian Suspense is done right with this book. Plus, the nice thing about these types of books is if you can't handle too much blood or gore there is hardly any with these books. Ok, now to the book itself.

Right from the first moment I instantly connected with Casey and Dylan and the story. So this really helped as it kept my interest. Plus I found this book to be a quick read. The conflict that Dylan felt about Casey helped add to the story. I like that he took everything about the case with a grain of salt and did not just jump to conclusions like the rest of the police. Although with all of the evidence and the crime scene and Casey running away it did make her look guilty. Which she does seem to be hiding something. The town that Casey made her new start in was charming. This story did have a nice ending.
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LibraryThing member nibbles_243
one of those "I should be sleeping but can't put down the book" kinda books. a very good read. I would classify it as criminal suspense. can't wait to read the 2nd one hoping it's an actual continuation of this one.
LibraryThing member SimplyKelina
I was sent the third book in this series for review. However; I have never read book one or two. I have seen them around and decided to read the series in order before reading the third book. I am so glad I did.

This is a mystery, within a mystery, within a mystery. There is a murder years before,
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a current murder, and a missing teenager within this story. They all work together and each bring an interesting plot line.

The one thing I did not really like is some of the information is repeated/recapped. An example of this would be some of the video evidence within the older murder. We hear about with Casey and then again get the whole recap though Dylan. I do not like when these things are told over and over again since we already have the information and I feel it is just filler.

I ended up reading this in one sitting. The second half of the book had me at the edge of my seat. I flew through it. I wanted to go to bed, but I knew I had to finish this first. This does end with so many questions, so I am happy I plan to binging this series and will be starting book two next.

Overall, this was much better than I thought it was going to be. This is a Christian Fiction book, but it is not heavy within that aspect. This was really more thriller/mystery. I recommend giving it a try, but be prepared to want to read the rest of the series.
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LibraryThing member caslater83
Riveting!!!

I cannot praise the author enough. The book is phenomenal. The characters are so realistic that you can feel the emotions running through them. The tension builds beautifully with every page. I am impressed and already looking forward to the next book in the series!
LibraryThing member relativelybooktastic
This book follows Casey, a woman running from the cops because all evidence points to her.
This book was a little slow pace for me in the beginning but overall I liked the characters and the storyline.

* I got this book in exchange for honest feedback*
LibraryThing member vickimarie2002
I really did enjoy this book but found some parts to be rushed. I also found a couple name errors which made me think I missed something. I think the wrong name was put in and it just bothered me. I didn't realize this was part of a trilogy so it ends in a major cliffhanger. It's pretty good though
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and captured my interest from the first page!
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LibraryThing member Lisa5127
This book took me a little while to get into, but once I got into it, I could not put it down! It is the story of a young woman who is accused of murder. She leaves town because she didn't do it, but she doesn't think anyone will believe her. It is a hard book to review without giving anything
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away.

The family of the deceased hires a private investigator to find the girl. During his hunt, he finds some clues that make him question her guilt. But does it matter? His job is to bring her back for a trial.
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LibraryThing member ToniFGMAMTC
This book is good with the suspense and mystery. My interest didn't waver with wanting to find out what was really happening. The puzzle of Casey's past and why she is hiding unwound at an appropriate pace. Dylan's background is interesting also. I liked the two main characters (the book alternates
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between their two voices). Casey did seem too good to be true often. She was on the run for her life but took the time to clean a public restroom and be the bastion of morality in every situation. Also, I like Christian fiction, but I did find some of the times when witnessing or preaching was added to be odd and ill-timed. The police procedures didn't seem realistic, but, overall, the story was a good experience for me. I was interested in finding out what eventually happens, and I had planned on getting the next book until I read the author's note at the end. I would have probably given this book a 3 star rating, but for the author's note. It ruined my entire experience. If it was written elsewhere, I wouldn't include it in my rating, but since the author added it to the end of the story, it is including in my rating of this book.
***copy given in exchange for an honest review***
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LibraryThing member purple_pisces22
I was very excited to read this book. One of my daughters had brought it home at some point. But then they never said anything else about it so it was put on the shelf to Be read by me at a later date. I read many great reviews about this book and I agree with a lot of them but something just did
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not resonate with me. I think a lot of it had to do with how silly the actions and reactions of Casey are during 80% of the book. I get that this is a YA novel but even once it was explained why she ran, it still didn’t quite make sense why she continued... even though that was explained. I’ll continue with the series though because I am interested to see what happens and hopefully everything will wind up making sense in the end.
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LibraryThing member RoSands
One of the best books I have read this year. Such a great book. Action and twists and turns from start to finish.
5 Stars.
LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
What do you do if you find a body, but you don't trust the police? Casey Cox found her father's body when she was 12. It was ruled a suicide though Casey thinks differently. Now an adult, Casey's friend Brent has been helping her to look into what happened to her father all those years ago. Then,
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Casey finds his body and ends up leaving her DNA and other clues all through the crime scene. She chooses to flee and using knowledge gleaned from her father, books, and TV she tries to stay under the radar. Her penchant for helping others gets her noticed more often than not.

Brent's family hires his friend Dylan Roberts, formerly of CID, to find Casey. Dylan has the police chief's blessing to pursue this, but still finds many of his requests blocked by lead detective Keegan, leaving him wondering why.

This book is a fast paced read with a lot of suspense. I really like both Casey and Dylan as characters. I didn't like the ending because I wanted something more definite. There is a wrap up of sorts, but Casey ends up still on the run with Dylan both pursuing her and trying to keep Keegan from finding her. I think I can predict what will happen at the end of the trilogy, but I still look forward to all the twists and turns that Blackstock will take us on in the remaining 2 books of the trilogy. I'd read them right now if they were available!
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LibraryThing member gpangel
If I Run by Terri Blackstock is a 2016 publication.

Casey’s best friend has been murdered and she’s the prime suspect. While she runs from law enforcement, Dylan Roberts joins in the chase, independently. As he hunts for Casey, he comes to believe she may be innocent…

But who would want to
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frame Casey… and why?

This is a fast-paced thriller told partly from Casey’s perspective and partly from Dylan’s, as he begins piecing the puzzle together.

The novel touches on the themes of PTSD and plants the seeds of a Christian message as Casey begins to see her need for answered prayers, faith, and trust in God.

While there were revelations along the way, none of them were exactly shocking. I suppose that’s the hazard of reading so much crime fiction- but the story is still compelling and held my attention without losing any momentum along the way.

One thing to know, if you are considering this one, is that this is the first book in a trilogy. There are still some threads hanging at the end of this book, so you’ll have to read the other two installments to get all the answers and you’ll have to read them in order.

Overall, while some plot points were predictable and the story doesn’t really cover much new territory, but it is still an engaging thriller. I’m on board for the whole trilogy and am looking forward to seeing how everything wraps up.

3.5 stars
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