Red Runby Published 21 Nov 2010
Any father’s worst nightmare.
A knock on the door in the middle of the night.
A police detective tells you your daughter’s been found beaten to death.
Evidence links your son to the killing.
What will you do to prove your son’s innocence? Will you sacrifice your own?
"Red Run" Reviews
A story that exists mainly in the seedy underbelly of society, and deals with struggling to escape your past. The main character, Ethan, is awoken one night to find that his troublesome 15 year old daughter Ali has been found dead in a nearby river. Not long after, his son Graham is revealed to be the primary suspect, but before the police can lock him up and head toward a trial, Ethan takes off with his son, running from the law. With the aid of his current girlfriend Sadie, Ethan runs away from the comfortable, middle-class life he has created and back to the unseemly, illegal life of crime he grew up in. He enlists the help of his junkie ex-wife Rain, the mother of both of Ethan's children, and her unhinged, dangerous brother Lazaro, to keep Graham off the grid while he searches for answers that are closer than he realizes.
I have enjoyed Rob Cornell's Lockman series, so I decided to explore some of his other works. Red Run was a different style than the Lockman books, more of a murder mystery set in Detroit where Ethan's (the main character) daughter Alison is found murdered, evidence points to his son Graham, and what Ethan is willing to do to save his son. I liked the overall direction of the story and it did not turn out as I had expected, making it an enjoyable read. There were some holes in it and questions unanswered, but not enough to keep me fromCornell's other works.
I discovered Rob Cornell's work through Twitter first then, in time, bought a couple of his books. I think I started with the wrong one, however. Red Run certainly shows he can write - there is a real zip to his writing. And yet I found it really hard to engage with this book, and it's largely down to not finding characters that were likeable. The lead characters inhabit a world of violence and failure, abuse of substances or one another filling their past. In all of that, it's difficult to latch on to anyone as they try to unravel the mystery of the death of young Alison. There is an interesting twist later in the novel, and I'm sure I'll read more of Cornell's work - I just wish this hadn't been my first to try.
This wasn't quite what I expected. OK, I knew a daughter had been found murdered but if I'd thought my son had anything to do with it I wouldn't be running from the police with him, I'd probably be turning him in !! The father in this story just runs taking his son along. In a lot of respects it seemed to stretch my belief a bit.
It was quite well written with a few mistakes, though. There were spaces in words that needn't be for some reason-like in god damned or light weight. Then quite was used where it should have been quiet and bizarrely bakes as opposed to brakes. Also forth instead of fourth.......quite basic errors that should have been spotted.
The Red Run of the title was only mentioned or referred to twice. As I say, not really what I expected reading the brief synopsis of the story. It turned into a story more about the father, really.
A very good read but for me personally I did not like any of the characters. The main character of the book Ethan was frustrating and very difficult for me to have any sympathy or empathy for during the first half of the book. Graham, Ethan's son, is a typical and frustrating scared 17 year old and eventually I did come around to understanding his motivations along with Ethan and so by mid way through the story I grew to empathize and understand the characters and their motivations. Three way quarters through the book it became a cannot put down-page turner and then I began to understand the first half of the book and why things went the way they did. If you have stick-to-it-iveness to get to the heart and meet of a very real and deep story then you, dear reader, are definitely in for a teeth gritting and up and down ride.