Book Review: Runner, by Thomas Perry

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The Jane Whitefield Series

Jane Whitefield helps desperate people disappear.  Or at least she did.  Now married several years, she has given up that life with a promise to her husband.

But what should she do when a young pregnant woman comes to her for help? Especially since its immediately after an explosion rocks the building they are in. Especially when the girl says the explosion was about her.  With six people after her, determined to either return her to her boyfriend or kill her Jane has no choice.

The answer was clear to Jane, so they are on the run.  Only this time people keep catching up with them, following them, shooting at them.  Her boyfriend wants her back, must have her back to secure his future.

The series is very enjoyable with such an unusual premise.  Except for the U.S. Marshalls and perhaps one or two other government offices, making someone disappear (at least while still alive) is a very unique career choice. Every book is exciting with the unexpected and suspenseful with close calls that each could cost their lives.

Becoming Someone Completely Different

Its fascinating to read how Jane prepares the woman to survive, to be ready, to avoid being found. From being aware of all the people, your surroundings, noting your exits in an emergency, and to changing your appearance.  Curious to think about how complicated it can be, and how committed you must be.

It’s much harder now than when Jane was working before. So much of our lives is available online, where even the protected can be tried or hacked. Cameras throughout cities and streets follow us in so many public places

Cameras that may be looking for Jane as well as the pregnant girl. Jane must watch her own back too since people who remember her still hunt her.

Temporarily settling the girl  in the St. Paul area, while she prepares for her baby, Jane returns home.

That’s when the young woman learns for herself how hard it is to remain hidden. How hard it is to give up who you were, your friends, your family. Hard, as time passes, not to start feeling confident that you are safe.  When you can start to feel like you will be okay, that is when it grows more dangerous.  You start to feel it might be okay to sneak out an email or make a phone call.  Surely that won’t hurt.  Christine takes that chance.  The results puts them all in danger.

At what point does Jane say she is finished?

I had read several earlier books in the series years ago, so it was a treat to be back with Jane.  It is so entertaining to see her smoothly move through all she does, whether obtaining identities or taking out bad guys.  She is a very likable character, as is her doctor husband.  Their relationship adds to the tension since she knows he doesn’t want her putting herself at such risk.

There are a couple of more in the series I will look forward to.  If you haven’t read any, I suggest you start with the first in the series.  It’s a good way to get to know Jane Whitfield and her history.  The book Vanishing Act is book one.

Vanishing Act

The book start started the series.


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

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Author: Merry Citarella

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