If I Run by Terri Blackstock

If I Run
(Zondervan 2016)

You don't trust law enforcement and haven't since you were 12. You never let go of your control. You have only one best friend...and he's dead. Your DNA is all over the scene. Do you stay and explain that you found him and hope they believe you or do you run?

That's the question posed in If I Run.

Casey can't trust the police because she suspects them in the cover-up of her father's death. To her she has no choice but to run.

Dylan can't get a PD job because his PTSD is a red flag, but his best friend is dead and the parents hire him to track down the murderer and bring her to justice.

Terri Blackstock does a wonderful job in bringing to life the anxiety of each character as one runs and the other chases. As each layer is peeled away and as the truth becomes known Casey and Dylan both face indecision.

I wished for more depth into the characters' emotional states at the beginning until I realized that they were slowly opening up. Casey is still in shock and that is made evident. Dylan is still struggling and his reserved nature is shown. The character development is slow and progressing which makes it believable.

Writing first person, present tense is difficult. Blackstock uses it well; and her style and language engaged me from the first page to the last.

There were no convenient ending or unrealistic romance (hinted that it may be later, but none at all in the first book). Each chapter and scene was realistic. Although I found two inconsistencies within the novel, the merit of If I Run outweighed those two minor weaknesses.

With such a strong story in this first novel I am ready to read the next book. Terri Blackstock set the bar high for all Christian suspense.   


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