Monday, November 5, 2012
Dead Running by Cami Checketts
Cassidy Christensen is running.
Running from the mercenaries who killed her parents.
Running from a scheming redhead intent on making her life miserable.
Running from painful memories that sabotage her dreams of happiness.
With two very tempting men competing for her attention, she hopes she’ll finally have someone to run to, but can she trust either of them? When secrets from her past threaten her family, Cassidy decides to stop running and fight for her future.
I love that Cassidy hates running at the beginning of this book. Ha! And I like that it helps illustrate her emotional progress through the book. As she gets stronger at running she gets strong enough to start her own business, strong enough to face her parents' deaths, strong enough to start caring about people again. Her family and friends kind of baby her, which makes it hard for her to have faith in herself. Training for the marathon, not giving up, shows them all what she is made of, and ultimately that she is ready to deal with whatever there is.
I would have liked to see her puzzle out the mystery of her parents' deaths. For instance, she could hunt down evidence that she thinks means they are not dead. Her father coming back (whoops! spoiler alert!) is something that gets resolved for her, rather than Cassidy, as the protagonist, doing the work to resolve that issue herself.
I also would have liked to see her finish the marathon before running off after the bad guys. She could just as easily have finished and then caught sight of the bad guys. What I mean is that scene could have happened after the completed marathon and would have been a lot more fulfilling to the reader who has followed Cassidy through a summer full of marathon training and wants to see her do well. It wouldn't have affected the story and would have rendered unneccessary the quick "Oh yeah, and then she finished the last couple miles...late."
But that's me, always looking for changes to make. Really, the story was great. It kept my interest and the characters were well-developed. I would definitely follow them into a sequel, and it clearly calls for one, leaving questions such as how her father is going to stay dead, how she can justify what is now insurance fraud, and how Jesse is going to break away from his father. Utah readers will be interested to read about familiar places. Dead running will also appeal to runners and those who enjoy romantic suspense novels.