Author: Patrick Lee
Series: A Sam Dryden Novel (Book 1)
Publication: Minotaur Books (February 18, 2014)
Description: Sam Dryden, retired special forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she’s running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal—to kill the fleeing child. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the eleven year old, for as long as she can remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government. But she doesn't know much beyond her own name, Rachel. She only remembers the past two months of her life—and that she has a skill that makes her very dangerous to these men and the hidden men in charge.
Dryden, who lost his wife and young daughter in an accident five years ago, agrees to help her try to unravel her own past and make sense of it, to protect her from the people who are moving heaven and earth to find them both. Although Dryden is only one man, he’s a man with the extraordinary skills and experience—as a Ranger, a Delta, and five years doing off-the-book black ops with an elite team. But, as he slowly begins to discover, the highly trained paramilitary forces on their heels is the only part of the danger they must face. Will Rachel’s own unremembered past be the most deadly of them all?
My Thoughts: RUNNER was a fast-paced, action-packed thriller with characters I really cared about. It begins when Sam Dryden is out running one night and young girl crashes into him and asks him for help. Sam has been checked out of life since his wife and daughter died in an accident, Rachel's problem is just what he needs to wake him up. Rachel is about twelve and on the run from some seriously scary dudes who really want her dead.
Rachel is the survivor of some experiments by defense contractors who were trying to create a new sort of weapon or spy. They have learned how to block the part of DNA that keeps people from reading minds. However, since the experiments were done on Rachel's mother while she was pregnant, the results in Rachel are quite different. Rachel, however, doesn't know this because the people who held her captive drugged her to interrogate her which caused memory loss. Now, the people who held her captive really want her dead.
Sam Dryden is a former Army Ranger who also spent time doing black ops for the government. He has mad survival skills and a strong need to protect Rachel. They have lots of close calls as they try to wait out the time until Rachel's memory comes back.
I really enjoyed this thriller. I am eager to read other Sam Dryden adventures.
She squeezed her eyes more tightly shut. Felt the pressure against her eyeballs. Saw little pops and flashes of light in the black. She'd found long ago that this helped her deal with the other feeling—the sense that regret could be a physical thing. That it could stand behind you with its hand on your back, and that sometimes it could reach inside you and clutch your heart in its grip.I got this eARC from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.