Patrick Lee’s first two books – The Breach and Ghost Country – set up their stories in just a few pages and then got down to action. Chases, fights, escapes galore. Characterization was thin, but that was okay because the action was the key. What made it so distinctive was the detail. First would come the situation, then the characters’ evaluation of that situation, then what happened when they put their plans into effect. It went on for pages and was absolutely riveting.
Runner lacks this simplicity. It’s crammed with multiple characters, parallel plot lines and switching points of view. It’s hard to keep track of who’s who and what’s happening – or to care about anything all that much. I would have liked another 100 pages, to fill it all out some more.
That said, the opening 50 pages are great and the closing chapter works beautifully. And I’m NOT going to stop looking out for more Patrick Lee stories.