3-Star Reviews, Books & Reviews

‘Running in The Dark,’ by Sam Reaves: Book Review

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Star Rating: ★★★✰✰

Running-In-The-Dark-Sam-ReavesA tragic event leads Abby Markstein to leave her life in Manhattan behind for the quiet and tranquility of Lewisburg, Indiana. She knows she’s probably just hiding from her problems, but for the time being she’s okay with it.

But Lewisburg isn’t as event-free as she’d hoped. On a morning run she comes across a car, lit up in a blaze, and a bubbling body burning inside it. The face of a tattooed stranger grinning at her from behind the car is the blood-red cherry on top of her trauma cake.

As much as she tries to forget about what she saw, more murders occur in the small-town, and as the only eye-witness she’s the only one who can help the police identify the killer.

Dealing with this, as well as a lovesick student who won’t take no for an answer, Abby has to come to terms with the fact that life in Lewisburg is full of more secrets than she though one small town could hold.

Running in The Dark is my kind of book. Dark, creepy, full of murders. What more could you ask for? You’re hooked from the very first scene, of Abby missing a phone call while out running, and coming home to find her ex-boyfriend waiting for her in a way she never imagined (I won’t say any more than that, you’ll have to read it for yourself).

I found Abby to be a very realistic character as well. Often in books like this the person who witnesses the crime becomes a sort of amateur detective and goes about trying to solve the crime themselves. A lot of the time they out-do the police and figure it all out before them.

But not Abby. Abby is just plain freaked out by the whole situation. She’s scared the killer is after her because she saw his face. She’s convinced someone is watching her. She’s scared to go home alone at night. She eventually ends up moving in with a friend when it all gets too much for her.

I think that fear is much more realistic than trying to solve the crime herself. You’re not Ms. Marple, leave it to the police, it’s their damn job. (Side note, I actually don’t like Ms. Marple. She’s the one Agatha Christie character I can’t stand, mostly for this reason. She’s a nosy aul biddy who should just leave the police work to the police. Okay, rant over.)

The only thing I thought was a bit unrealistic was the amount of information Detective Ruffner was willing to give to Abby about the case. I don’t know much about how police stuff works, so maybe I’m completely wrong, but I feel like he gives away information about who they’re looking at, why they’re looking at them, and general sensitive stuff way too freely to be professional.

The ending is also a tiny-weeny bit disappointing. You kind of know throughout that the Mexican-angle the police are looking at isn’t right, but what it ends up being is kind of anti-climactic. I like to be properly shocked by the ending of a book, and this didn’t blow my mind.

In saying that, it’s not an unenjoyable ending, and it did have me staying up a little past when I should have gone to sleep to finish it. So, don’t be put off.

Running in The Dark is an easy read, and fans of a good thriller will like it. The pace is good and is kept up throughout the book, and there was nothing about it that made me want to put it down and never pick it up again. A good book overall.




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