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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and original
Sam Dryden is a former special ops military officer who left the Army five years ago for family reasons. After the death of his wife and child, he's been drifting and suffering from insomnia. On a middle of the night run one evening he literally bumps into a young girl, Rachel, who's on the run from some men who've been holding her captive. His instinct is to protect her,...
Published 2 months ago by Julia Flyte

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3.0 out of 5 stars Some Clever Ideas But Didn't Totally Grab Me
Patrick Lee's three previous novels, The Breach, Ghost Country and Deep Sky were all full of intriguing ideas and plenty of action, and his latest, Runner, is no different.

Dropping the characters and settings of his previously trilogy, Runner introduces readers to a new central hero, Sam Dryden. Like his previous leading man, Travis Chase, Sam is a super...
Published 21 days ago by C. Green


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and original, 19 Jun 2014
By 
Julia Flyte - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Runner (Paperback)
Sam Dryden is a former special ops military officer who left the Army five years ago for family reasons. After the death of his wife and child, he's been drifting and suffering from insomnia. On a middle of the night run one evening he literally bumps into a young girl, Rachel, who's on the run from some men who've been holding her captive. His instinct is to protect her, although he quickly realises that she has some very powerful men after her. Rachel is suffering from amnesia, but it becomes apparent that she has some special abilities. It's not the ability to see the future, but it's in that kind of ballpark.

This book grabs you from page one. I would defy anyone to read the first chapter - even the first couple of pages - and not want to keep going. It takes off with a roar and the action barely lets up until the end. You do need a tolerance for a slight paranormal twist - not everyone's cup of tea - but I found this to be a well written and entertaining thriller. There are a couple of silly plot twists and most of the bad guys are generic, one dimensional villains from central casting, but it's still a notch above many in this genre.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Some Clever Ideas But Didn't Totally Grab Me, 31 July 2014
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Runner (Kindle Edition)
Patrick Lee's three previous novels, The Breach, Ghost Country and Deep Sky were all full of intriguing ideas and plenty of action, and his latest, Runner, is no different.

Dropping the characters and settings of his previously trilogy, Runner introduces readers to a new central hero, Sam Dryden. Like his previous leading man, Travis Chase, Sam is a super capable but troubled individual and like Chase he finds himself thrown into the middle of a web of intrigue and conspiracy from which he must escape. As in The Breach, et al, those conspiracies and intrigues involve new technologies, dangerous experiments and off-the-record government programs.

It all makes for an exciting and on the whole reasonably original sci-fi tinged thriller. As the title suggests, there's action from almost the first page and it barely lets up until the end. Some of it is rather over the top, with an escape from a Chicago skyscraper petty much busting out of the realms of plausibility, but if you can suspend your disbelief long enough you can go along with the ridiculousness of it all.

The central conspiracy that Dryden uncovers is also well conceived. Its not entirely original, but Lee grounds it in enough 'reality' to at least make it feel vaguely plausible. Its certainly far less 'out-there' than anything in his earlier novels.

So plot-and-action-wise Runner ticks most of the necessary boxes. However, the reason I can't give it more than three stars is that despite its strengths at no point did it ever really grab me as all decent thrillers should. Not once did I become so hooked that I just had to keep reading or was I gripped by an undeniable desire to go back and continue where I left off. Sure, I was entertained but that was about it, and that's really not good enough for a book that, from the title down is meant to be one long adrenalin rush.

I struggle to put my finger on precisely why Runner didn't pull me in as it was meant to, but I think it was mostly due to the characters. At no point did I really empathise with Sam or Rachel. They remain resolutely two dimensional creations; more a collection of character traits rather than real people. The rest of the cast by contrast don't even get a second dimension, and feel like they are there only to serve the plot rather than to behave as real, relatable individuals. At one point a whole team of bad guys are killed simultaneously in a spectacular car crash and the violence of their deaths barely register due to them being nothing more than names on the page.

The consequence of this is a book which is big on action and intrigue but where its hard to really invest or immerse yourself in the story. That for me means it fails in one of the key tasks of any thriller, and can only ever deserve a maximum of three stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars Blistering run, 2 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Runner (Paperback)
The breakneck pace of the modern American thriller is just a shade too slow for Patrick Lee – with him it's not so much formula writing but Formula 1. If you have a dodgy ticker it might be as well to give Runner a miss because it’ll be arrhythmic before you’re two pages in.

You might decide it’s worth the risk, though, as this is a corker of a book featuring his new hero Sam Dryden, a retired member of SFOD-D, otherwise known as Delta Force, America’s SAS. He’s a trained killer, and naturally he has extra issues in his portfolio, namely a dead wife and kid, so he’s primed for trouble. It comes when he’s out on a night-time run, colliding with a terrified 12-year-old being chased by gun-toting murderers.

Not one to shy away from action, Dryden helps the girl, Rachel, out of that particular fix. What he wants to know is why the bad guys want her dead, but her memory doesn’t seem to be up to it. The truth is more than a little mangling for Dryden’s mind when it finally comes out, but if there’s any man capable of facing the dangers it presents it’s this one-man army.

It’s wickedly fast, yet Runner never outpaces the humanity driving its main man. A proper modern thriller that’ll leave your fingers blistered.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Runner, 23 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Runner (Kindle Edition)
Having been a long time fan of Patrick Lee's writing since reading "Breach", I have been looking forward to his latest book for the last 18+ months and it didn't disappoint. The story starts with Sam Dryden an ex special forces and "rendition" expert, who's life fell apart 5 years before and when out running he meets the 12 year old girl Rachel with killers after her.

The rest of the book i wont give away but it is an epic page turner I read in a single session last night and it takes Patrick Lee's writing to a whole new level, putting him up with some of the best thriller writers on the planet and a book that should be top of the bestseller lists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non stop action - excellent, 23 Jun 2014
This review is from: Runner (Paperback)
Sam Dryden is out jogging minding his own business when a young girl bumps into him. This accidental meeting with Rachel is the start of a roller coaster ride to escape the clutches of corporations after the next big bucks. They are pursued by very determined groups of people who seem to have no limits to the resource they can use. As Sam is ex special forces, his skills come in very useful as he helps Rachel who has lost her memory, but does have some tricks of her own.

Patrick Lee has written a fast paced and thrilling story which I found very easy to read with no convoluted language, no unnecessary history or lectures, just excellent story telling. I recommend you don't miss it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not in the same class as the Breach series., 4 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Runner (Kindle Edition)
I looked forward to this latest book by Patrick Lee after greatly enjoying the three books about the Breach. This story about people with the ability to read minds along with other special powers is not in the same class. The main character is a clone of Lee Childs's, Jack Reacher, an ex serviceman with almost superman abilities. It's still worth reading however, I hope his next offering is a big improvement
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking action thriller, 9 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Runner (Kindle Edition)
I'm not usually into paranormal fiction, but this one intrigued me enough to try it, and I was pleased I did. There's a neat relationship between the two main characters... but the idea of having someone read your thoughts (quite apart from being able to control your actions) was really thought-provoking (excuse the pun). Very enjoyable and lots of fast action.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite first past the line..., 9 July 2014
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This review is from: Runner (Kindle Edition)
I am a big fun of Patrick Lee's Breach trilogy and whilst good, Runner isn't quite in the same league. I think having Breach as a 3-novel series helped build tension and fill out the plot, whereas here everything is wrapped up in one book. A shame, there is a lot of characters it would have been nice to learn more about and to spend more time with Rachel and Sam .
An intriguing start to the novel gives way to numerous plot twists, which whilst nice, felt a little predictable. The book reminded me alot of the 80's movie Firestarter, not a bad thing, however the 'big, bad government men' type of story is wearing alittle thin without a new spin on it.
Overall a good fast-paced summer read, definitely recommended, but it's more fast-food rather than a gourmet meal.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Patrick Lee - a name to watch!, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: Runner (Kindle Edition)
A very well written novel. Couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I know what you are thinking, 2 July 2014
This review is from: Runner (Paperback)
Sadly Patrick Lee has gone a bit to mainstream here with the creation of a Jack Reacher type. You know the indestructable type who is an expert in everything.
The Breach was one of the most original books I have read but Runner is the same as the mass produced action adventure flooding the bookshelves across the nation.
Each author looking for the new angle. In this case american defence contractors developing mind control drugs.
At the centre of this is Rachel a 12 year old with unique capabilities. People want her dead and Sam Dryden the usual defunct killing machine ressurected takes it upon himself to protect her. Whilst of course getting to the heart of the problem.
Its all been done and written before and all plays out rather predictably.
To summarise its not bad but The Breach was way way better.
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Runner by Patrick Lee (Paperback - 19 Jun 2014)
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