Monday, 20 June 2016

Book Review: SEE HOW THEY RUN by Tom Bale

See How They Run by Tom Bale

 See How They Run
Author: Tom Bale
Publisher: Bookouture
Read: June 2016

Synopsis (Goodreads):

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:


Terrifying, unputdownable and full of twists and turns, this stunning thriller will have you on the edge of your seat right to the very last page. 

My thoughts:

In the dead of the night, Alice and Harry are woken by masked intruders who break into their home, holding their 8-week old daughter hostage and demanding that the couple hand over a package addressed to a Mr Renshaw, which had allegedly been sent to their address. After suffering hours of pain and humiliation at the hands of their attackers, Harry finally manages to convince the men that they have not received such a package, nor did they know the identity of the mysterious recipient. Finally the men leave, but not before threatening that harm will befall Harry, Alice or their daughter Evie, should they find out that the couple have lied to them, or have gone to the police to report the home invasion. What Alice has not told anyone is that she had indeed received a package in the mail a few days ago, and may know where to find this mysterious Mr Renshaw ....

I was excited to receive a copy of See How They Run through Netgalley, as the premise of an innocent young family caught up in some criminal activity was intriguing and scary. People react differently under stress and threats to their lives, and there was the potential of a thrilling roller coaster ride as the young couple try to evade their attackers. However, though it started off strongly, unfortunately the novel ultimately did not work for me on many levels. Whilst I expected the characters to make some strange decisions whilst feeling pressured and threatened, the whole storyline was based on some very questionable decisions by the main protagonists, to the point of not being able to suspend disbelief enough to make the book credible. I found Harry and Alice somewhat two dimensional and difficult to connect with, which made their thoughts and actions hard to understand. I also found the constant baby trivia in the book somewhat irritating – whilst to a parent a newborn baby may mean the world, the continuous references to burping, nappy changing and breast feeding soon became repetitive and added nothing to the content of the novel for me.

“Suspecting a bowel movement was due, Alice picked up a nappy and pack of wipes, and put them in a nappy sack.”

Whilst I understand that this is the reality of having a newborn, this type of day-to-day trivia only served as a distraction to the main storyline and it was easy to lose interest – a bit of careful editing could have done wonders here. I soon felt I was skipping through the chapters, trying to get to the actual meaty parts. All in all, the novel fell flat for me and I without really caring for any of the characters it soon lost my interest.

However, seeing that there are many high praises for See How They Run out there, I certainly recommend judging for yourself. For me, only a “Meh!” read – readable but not particularly enjoyable and certainly not a memorable book on my reading list this year.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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