Book Title: See How They Run
Author: Tom Bale
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Crime Fiction
Date Read: 05/20/16
Pub Date: 05/06/16
How far would you go to save your family?
In the dead of night, new parents Alice and Harry French are plunged into their worst nightmare when they wake to find masked men in their bedroom. Men ruthless enough to threaten their baby daughter, Evie. This is no burglary gone wrong.
The intruders know who they’re looking for – a man called Edward Renshaw.
And they are prepared to kill to get to him. When the men leave empty handed, little do Alice and Harry realise that their nightmare is just beginning. Is it a case of mistaken identity? Who is Renshaw? And what is he hiding? One thing is clear – they already know too much. As Alice and Harry are separated in the run for their lives, there is no time to breathe in their fight to be reunited. And with their attackers closing in, there is only one choice: STAY ALIVE. OR DON’T.
I learned so much by reading this book; for instance, the word fanny does NOT mean the same thing in the UK as it does in the US! HAH! (Sorry Tom for my unintended graphic comments on Twitter but glad we all had a good laugh about it!) In all honesty though, I was clenching my teeth and my butt cheeks through this entire book; from the opening scene to the very last page I felt I could barely breathe! I saw many of my Goodreads friends reading this one and raving about it, but I held back from requesting on NetGalley as I have a baby at home and didn’t know if I could stomach such an intense book involving such a small child and still sleep at night. The author finally changed my mind (and let’s face it, I couldn’t stand to be the only one not reading this book) and I am so glad I caved; this one is sure to be in my top 10 for 2016 reads!
“Harry and Alice could barely have moved if they’d wanted to. They listened to the intruders descending the stairs, the rattle of a bolt being drawn back. The front door opened and shut, firmly, and the men were gone.
It was over.
It was only just beginning.”
Alice and Harry awaken in the night to find two masked men in their room for reasons unknown to them. After a tense discussion, it appears these men believe they are holding a package and/or associate being hunted by a mysterious group who clearly are involved in some shady dealings. After convincing these men that they have the wrong house and have no clue what they are talking about, the intruders leave them with a warning to not call the police or their 8 week old daughter Evie will be hurt. Over the next couple of days, the couple struggles over whether or not to involve the police and ultimately decide against it, but when another package arrives at their door, all means of chaos ensues and we are taken on one crazy, wild ride.
“But there’s also you: after a tiny burp, Evie’s eyes praised open, recognized her mother’s face and lit up with a pure, instinctive joy that was just about the most beautiful thing Alice had ever seen. She blinked away sudden, silly tears. Tears of love and guilt.
When you’ve been blessed with a beautiful, healthy child, wasn’t it unspeakably selfish to mourn what you might be losing of yourself?”
I think we can all agree that the star of this book truly is Evie. The chase alone was thrilling, but adding a newborn child to the mix while running from evil criminals takes it to a whole new level. When discussing with the author about how much this aspect added to the story for me, he stated “I know the opening scene is quite unsettling, even though there is no actual violence. I doubt if I would have written it when my kids were that age- though from memory I was too exhausted most of the time to write ANYTHING… I didn’t want to have the baby as an “accessory” as they sometimes are in fiction, never needing to be fed or changed, etc.” I think because the author had these life experiences, it truly brought the words off the page for many readers. Let’s be honest, the first year with a new baby is unlike anything ever experienced before. Its already exhausting and emotional, and Bale somehow managed to bring the seemingly mundane, but very real struggles of a new mother, such as losing her identity of herself and just becoming “mommy” to light as well. Every time Alice had to stop somewhere and breastfeed her child, I had tears brought to my eyes as it reminded me of the hardest yet most rewarding experiences of my life to date.
In the Afterward, it mentions how the author stayed home with his kids for a time while they were young and that sealed all my wonders of how he could write all the feelings and experiences of what being home with kids truly means; he also included where the inspiration for this story came from which I highly recommend reading. A well done, edge of your seat thriller that goes a little deeper than your typical read in this genre. I’ll be waiting anxiously for his next book!
*I received my copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. This did not influence my review and all opinions are my own.
Tom Bale has had a variety of jobs including retail assistant, claims negotiator and project manager, but none was as exhausting as the several years he spent as a househusband with two pre-school children. Tom has been writing since the age of seven, and completed his first novel at fifteen. After twenty years and hundreds of rejection slips, his first novel SINS OF THE FATHER was published under his real name, David Harrison. With his next book, SKIN AND BONES, he acquired an agent, a pseudonym and a book deal that enabled him to write full-time. His latest novel is the thriller SEE HOW THEY RUN, published by Bookouture in May 2016.