Runaway by Anne Laughlin

I finished reading Anne Laughlin’s new book just a few minutes ago. I was lucky enough to get a review copy and very much looked forward to getting into the book. I read Ms. Laughlin’s Veritas and loved her voice and her quirky characters but she told me that Runaway was different from her previous book. She didn’t lie.

Runaway is told in the third person from the perspectives of two characters, Jan and Maddy. At 16, Jan ran away from the militia that her father commanded in Northern Idaho. Twenty years later, she’s a hardened private investigator in Chicago who keeps everyone at a distance. Maddy, a privileged 16-year-old from a rich Chicago suburb, runs away to find an Ayn Rand style utopia. Maddy’s parents hire the company Jan works for to find her. Meanwhile, the company is sold to a British firm and in comes Catherine, a former MI6 agent who will be handling the turnover, and there are instant sparks between her and Jan.

Ok, now you’ve got the general idea of the book. The story probably goes much like you think it will. It did for me. I don’t think there was anything at all that surprised me about the plot or the characters. What also didn’t surprise me was that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. While this was a much darker, more serious tale than Veritas, the author’s voice came through clearly and there were a few points where I chuckled. Anne Laughlin is one of those authors that I just enjoy reading. It was also nice to read about places that I was familiar with, like Chicago and Idaho.

There are some plot points that I’d like to talk about more but I don’t want to give anything away. Oh, and I like the way she handled the ending. I won’t say more about it. I’d love to, but I won’t.

All in all, I very much enjoyed my time reading Runaway and I recommend it to anyone who likes a little action. In the thriller sense.

Runaway by Anne Laughlin

Veritas by Anne Laughlin

I bought this book as a gift to myself many months ago. I had heard plenty of chatter on the message boards that it was fantastic and everyone should read it. I heard from others that it was good but the lack of sex left them wanting. I looked at it every time I finished a book or online fic and thought, “should I read this now?” Obviously, the answer was always, “no, not right now. I’ll read it soon.” I’m a dumb ass, because I should have read it a long time ago.

In a nutshell, there’s a murder at a small college and there are a few potential suspects. There are also lots of great characters in this book. I just know that my review isn’t going to do it justice because I’m a bit tired and in a moderately bitchy mood. But I also know that if I wait another day to post the review, I won’t do it and then I’ll feel bad because this was a very, very good book. Oh, and both main female characters had girly names. I just thought that was worth mentioning because it happens so rarely. Sally and Beth. And I liked them both. Sally is a former Chicago homicide detective who moved back to her small hometown and is now the chief of police. Beth is the dean of the college. Sally is a solid, responsible woman who doesn’t sleep around and is just nice and honest. Beth wants nothing to do with commitment but enjoys having sex, as long as it’s completely without attachment. I’ll give you one guess about what happens between the two of them…

But their relationship isn’t the main focus of the book. It’s not just thrown in, either, but it’s the murder investigation that drives the story. Oh! But you’ll enjoy Beth’s mom, too. I have to say that I figured out who the murderer was just after the act took place but I still enjoyed every minute of the ride. I’m very competitive when it comes to figuring out who the bad guy is – or any other plot related thing – and keep track of how quickly I figure it out. I tend to drive my wife crazy with that because there has to be a witness to my genius and it’s usually her.

Anyway, Veritas is a very entertaining, very well written book that I highly recommend. I can’t wait for more from Ms. Laughlin.