Becky Johnson (2014)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (09/16)
Article first published as Book Review: ‘Run’ by Becky Johnson on Blogcritics.
“Run” is the first book in the Charlotte Marshall Mystery Series by Becky Johnson. Charlotte, an author under contract for her third novel, experiences a serious bout of writer’s block when an idea for a story suddenly springs to mind. Recalling a news story from 20 years ago about the rape, torture, and murder of a young girl, Charlotte has all the makings of her next bestseller. She sets out to learn everything she can about the case of Emily Carmichael, and in the process discovers a slew of unsolved cases involving young girls murdered in the same fashion.
Convinced that the murders are connected, Charlotte takes her research to the FBI, who find her theories unlikely, and her attempts at investigating humorous, at best. Within days of meeting with the FBI however, Charlotte is attacked and forced into hiding. Not knowing who to trust, Charlotte is uprooted from her stable life, as she tries to piece together the mystery, and catch the killer before she becomes the next victim.
Told in the first person narrative, Charlotte’s opening line entices the reader with the promise of a creepy, chilling tale. The storyline is full of action and suspense, and the plot twists and turns at an exciting pace. Charlotte proves to be a worthy, smart female protagonist. Quirky, a bit reclusive in her habits, and an animal lover, she is easily relatable. Using her quick wit, analytical skills, and common sense, she manages to stay one-step ahead of the killer – most of the time. There are moments when the story begs the reader to dive deep into their imagination in order to grasp the believability of certain events, but that said, it remains entertaining throughout. The potential for this story to delve deeper than that of a cozy mystery is definitely there, and at times I craved going down that road, but the author is more than successful in telling an engaging story in a relatively short number of pages.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed “Run” by Becky Johnson. I recommend it as a highly entertaining read, and look forward to seeing what’s in store for Charlotte in the rest of the series.