An excellent crime thriller.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
A missing schoolgirl, a middle-aged recluse, an exploited teenager. Lives thrown into chaos and set on collision course. With the police in hot pursuit.
Scarlett is dancing in the school talent show tomorrow. Nana, who Scarlett lives with since Mum died, reckons Scarlett will be on Strictly at this rate. Except Scarlett doesn’t make it home from school. She’s abducted by a man she never imagined she’d see again. A man on the police’s most wanted list. Her dad.
Ron has made a living as a house and pet sitter since quitting his career on the front line in the fire service. He’s currently looking after a place deep in the Derbyshire Peaks. The solitude suits him. And managing animals is so much simpler than coping with other people.
Dylan’s a ‘cuckoo’, dealing drugs on the county line, moving from nest to nest, picking out people who daren’t say no. Keeping his head down, one step ahead of the law. So far. But now everything’s falling apart.
DS Laura O’Neil is running on empty after nights dealing with her teething toddler. But Laura is driving the hunt for Scarlett and knows that every minute counts. Any delay, any mistake might cost Scarlett her life. A devastating prospect.
PC Ahmed Ali discovers a seriously injured man in a drug den and chases his suspected attacker across the hills. Ahmed is determined to bring him to justice. But fate has other plans in store.
A race against time, played out in the brooding wilderness, the limestone gorges and gritstone edges of the Peak District. Themes of escape and entrapment, of shifting loyalties and new alliances, of violence, fear and love, resilience, kindness and hope.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
Running Out of Road by Cath Staincliffe was one hell of a police-procedural-cum-thriller.
The author sketches three parallel stories of Scarlett, Dylan, and Ron until with a clever twist, these plotlines merge into a wild and thrilling chase. So do the separate investigations of the cops Ahmed and Laura O’Neil. Kudos to the author for bringing out an Asian cop’s insecurities so well.
Besides, the book is atmospheric. Staincliffe paints Peak District with such tenderness that I loved even the scenes where torrential rains were lashing the area and making life hell for everyone. I felt like plunging into the book and view the picturesque valleys by myself.
Further, all the characters were brilliant. With five pivotal characters peopling the pages, I did not have a favorite. Rather, I loved reading all their POVs which is a testament to the writing prowess of Staincliffe.
I also liked how, instead of sketching the villain in gray shades, Staincliffe paints him as an out-and-out bad guy. Instead, she focuses on Scarlett’s battle to escape and her coping mechanism against the assault on her.
The biggest strength of this book is that the plot is taut with suspense. Can Scarlett escape her abductor’s clutches? I was on the edge of my seat the whole time while finding out the answer and finished the book in two days straight.
Running Out of Road by Cath Staincliffe is highly recommended for crime-fiction lovers.
Genre: Crime Thriller || To be Published on July 15th 2021 by Constable
Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
Cath Staincliffe is a best-selling, award-winning novelist, radio playwright and the creator of ITV’s hit series, Blue Murder, starring Caroline Quentin as DCI Janine Lewis. Cath’s books have been short-listed for the British Crime Writers Association best first novel award, for the Dagger in the Library and selected as Le Masque de l’Année. In 2012 Cath won the CWA Short Story Dagger for Laptop, sharing the prize with Margaret Murphy with her story The Message. Cath was shortlisted again with Night Nurse in 2014. Cath’s Sal Kilkenny private eye series features a single-parent sleuth working the mean streets of Manchester. Trio, a stand-alone novel moved away from crime to explore adoption and growing up in the 1960s, inspired by Cath’s own experience. Letters To My Daughter’s Killer was selected for Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club in 2014 and featured on ITV3s Crime Thriller Club. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey novels based on the popular UK TV series. Cath is one of the founding members of Murder Squad – a group of Northern crime writers who give readings, talks and signings around the country. Cath was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, UK and now lives in Manchester, Lancashire with her family.
You can follow her on Twitter, @CathStaincliffe, which she does when she should be busy writing!