Saturday, 21 January 2017

The Running Game

The Running Game

L.E. Fitzpatrick

5 out of 5

Rachel’s father called it the running game. Count the exits, calculate the routes. Always be ready to run because they’ll always be coming for you. Whatever happens, they’ll always be coming for you.

On the surface, Rachel is just an ordinary doctor, trying to stay alive in war-torn London, but she has a secret. Rachel is a Reacher – wanted by the government and by the criminal underworld – for her telekinetic powers. Charlie and his brother John had a reputation for doing the impossible. But after losing his family, Charlie is a broken mess and John is barely keeping him afloat.

In desperation, they take a job from a ruthless gang lord only to discover the girl they are hunting is a Reacher – one of their own kind. James Roxton, a conman and thief, is searching for the man who tried to kill his mother. Suddenly embroiled into the plan to kidnap Rachel, he decides he can turn things to his own advantage.

Even with the help of dangerous and dubious allies, can Rachel turn the game around and save herself?

The Smith brothers always deliver, but when their current job turns out to be a Reacher, the tables are about to turn.

I received a free copy in return for an honest review.
This series has been on my reading list ever since I read The Lost Shepherd short story in the Awethology collection, and I wish I'd picked this up earlier!

This was awesome, I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a new series so much.
There's a perfect blend of genres, with the story being set in a dystopian future, where society has crumbled and blames Reachers (those with powers). Now, the outskirts of London - an area called S'aven is run by gangsters and dirty cops, giving the story a solid Crime flare.

The story keeps you guessing throughout, as the hidden agendas of all the characters come together and make a constantly shifting threat. There are some decent surprises, and revelations I didn't see coming.
There is also a subtle, dry humour, woven into the narrative. This story doesn't take itself too seriously, and I absolutely loved it.

The characters are... good.
I think my favourite was Roxy - he reminded me of Captain Jack - you never quite know which side he's on, even at the very end. He manages to piss everyone off, and there's no one he hasn't double-crossed; but you still believe he could be a good guy.
I also really liked Rachel. The guys might think they are there to protect her, but she's perfectly capable of looking after herself when the need arises. And when it doesn't, she just quietly plugs along with life.
Charlie and John are OK. I like them, and they feel well-rounded, but it feels like Fitzpatrick has purposefully held information back on them. I'm looking forward to how they turn out in the rest of the series, especially as Charlie is hinted at being as powerful as Rachel; and John has that awesome silent-ninja thing going.

There is also no romance, which I found to be a bonus - it's always refreshing when a good crime/paranormal/dystopian doesn't dissolve into fluffy feelings. There's some groundwork done, so if Fitzpatrick decided to build on it in future books, it would all be natural and good.

The only thing I was disappointed about, was "Charlie's grand plan". 
Throughout the book, he has been heralded as the-man-with-the-plan. The genius. The worshipper of intricate details. The reason the Smith brothers always pull off jobs.
The grand plan near the end wasn't exactly Ocean's Eleven. It wasn't any more complex than "grab-and-go".
I mean, don't get me wrong, what happened afterwards, when they had to improvise was pretty awesome. I just couldn't help but be a little disappointed in what Charlie came up with. I hope he gets a bit more creative in the following books.

So, highly recommend, and I'm already reading the sequel, Border Lines!

Goodreads link
Amazon UK

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