RUN by Andrew Grant

Andrew Grant
October 2014
Ballantine Books

Marc Bowman is a computer consultant hired by AmeriTel, a small but growing communications company, and the same place where his wife works as an executive. Things seem great…until Marc shows up for work one morning and is unceremoniously fired by the president of the company. Marc is upset, but he has some data that he downloaded over the weekend that he can use to create an even better analytical tool—and maybe even sell it to the competition. But instead of siding with him, his wife Carolyn demands the data sticks back. And when Marc refuses to turn them over, she walks out. Soon Marc is the victim of a burglary, people are following him, and several government agencies are threatening him. And now it seems that Carolyn has vanished. In order to prove his innocence, Marc does the only thing he knows how to: he runs.

This new thriller is a departure from Grant’s previous series featuring David Trevellyan, an ex-military spy. Instead, Marc Bowman is a computer nerd and an everyman, completely unequipped to deal with the ins and outs of government spy craft. But that’s a huge part of what makes this novel so enjoyable. Marc Bowman is in over his head, and has no idea who to trust—the cops, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security—all of them have their own agenda, and that agenda doesn’t necessarily include proving Marc’s innocence. In fact, it seems that at least one faction of the agents swirling around him seem to be dirty—but who? And could his own wife have betrayed him? Grant does an excellent job portraying the thoughts, actions and downright paranoia of a person caught up in something he can’t control and isn’t sure whom he can trust. The cast of characters is well drawn in their dubious nature; I felt anxious for Bowman while trying to sort out myself who was on what side.

RUN is an incredibly smart thriller, using current technology and security concerns mixed with old school tactics to create breathless suspense. Grant proves an expert at the unexpected–the plot twists continue right up to the very last page, and the action propels the story forward, sweeping the reader right along with it. For a fast-paced, tension-fueled thriller where shady characters abound, add RUN to your list.
Erica Ruth Neubauer