RUNNER by Patrick Lee

Patrick Lee
February 18, 2014
St. Martin’s Press

After years in the Special Forces, Sam Dryden now seeks a quieter life along the shores of California. Each night to clear his head, he runs along the beach with his dog. It is an easy idyllic life after years of brutality and gun play. In one fateful night, all that is shattered by a young girl running toward him screaming for help. Unable to leave this girl helpless, he is immediately thrown back into a world of black-ops, government agencies, and covert plots. When the girl responds out loud to something he merely thinks, he realizes that this is nothing like the missions he has been on before.

This book was a stunning example of pacing and character. Dryden isn’t simply a gun, nor is Rachel simply a helpless young girl seeking help. However, great character development never slows down this lightning quick plot. Every time you think you have a handle on what’s going on, everything turns on a dime.

As the hunt for Rachel becomes more frantic, Dryden’s brutality increases, stripping the man aside for the military machine he once was. Seeing him out maneuver and outwit those chasing them will keep your heart-racing page after page.
With a voice and a talent that will soon be discussed in the same breath as Matt Hilton and Lee Child, Patrick Lee’s RUNNER is a fantastic novel. From the first chapter to the last, he hardly lets you have a second to breathe. It is the rare novel that possesses all the qualities of a great action novel with none of the clichés. Lee takes the voice of the genre and makes it all his own with sympathetic characters, adrenaline-fueled action scenes, and a tantalizingly puzzling plot.
-Bryan VanMeter