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If I Run by Terri Blackstock

Title:  If I Run (An If I Run Novel)
Author:  Terri Blackstock
Pages:  320
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Zondervan
My rating is 5+ stars.
Terri Blackstock shares a fantastic tale with her readers.  Before I share my view of that, I would like to share how her Author’s Note really spoke to my heart.  Sometimes we forget that what hurts, bothers, thrills, brings joy to us readers also does the same for authors.  I needed a word of encouragement, but not necessarily for the same reasons Terri shares her own need for God’s reminders.  However, I needed it none the less.  The encouragement she shares says a lot, but for me it was a reminder that what we are going through is temporary, and this isn’t the believer’s home.  We as Christians must stand up for what is wrong even knowing there will be backlash; we go through trials that turn our lives every which way but loose.  More than that one day things will be set right again and Jesus will come back.
When I come to a work of fiction, it is to enjoy a good story.  Sometimes that is a western, romance with suspense, historical or even a general work of fiction.  If I Run takes off from the first word and never does the tension let up!  The main character, Casey, has seen much in her young life, beginning with finding her father’s body and then years late finding a good friend’s body.  Now the hunt begins to bring Casey to justice for the death of her good friend Brent as she cannot be located anywhere in town.
To Casey, everyone she loves ends up dying so she wonders, “Why bother getting close to anyone?” However, living a lonely life is starting to wear on her heart, mind and soul.  Enter Dylan who has served three tours.  He is no longer actively serving, but suffers from horrible PTSD.  Dylan wants to be a cop, but with the stress of PTSD the local police don’t feel they can hire him.  What ties Dylan and Casey together is that Brent was Dylan’s childhood friend.  Dylan is hired by Brent’s parents to find Casey.
As Dylan begins to do so, the tension in the book begins to climb rapidly.  Many obstacles are keeping him from information he needs to understand Casey.  Terri then brings in another element which is a missing young teen gone from her family two years.  Casey has to decide if the cost to locating the teen, which would bring her attention, is worth the cost of being on the radar of those who she believes are evil and therefore cannot be trusted.
I couldn’t put the book down as action plus the personalities of both Casey and Dylan were captivating.  I wanted to see if evil would in fact win this time with Casey being caught and the teen still missing.   Would Dylan find Casey and not believe the story she has to tell?  There are a myriad of possible ways for the tales to end.  Great job with the story, Terri, and thanks for the words of encouragement you share with readers!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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