Today is my 52nd birthday and I can think of no better way to celebrate it than to share my review of Running out of Road, the new thriller by acclaimed author Cath Staincliffe. Thank you to Tracy Fenton and Constable for giving me the opportunity to read and review this thoroughly entertaining book.
About the book:
A missing schoolgirl, a middle-aged recluse, an exploited teenager. Lives thrown into chaos and set on collision course. With the police in hot pursuit.
Scarlett is dancing in the school talent show tomorrow. Nana, who Scarlett lives with since Mum died, reckons Scarlett will be on Strictly at this rate. Except Scarlett doesn’t make it home from school. She’s abducted by a man she never imagined she’d see again. A man on the police’s most wanted list. Her dad.
Ron has made a living as a house and pet sitter since quitting his career on the front line in the fire service. He’s currently looking after a place deep in the Derbyshire Peaks. The solitude suits him. And managing animals is so much simpler than coping with other people.
Dylan’s a ‘cuckoo’, dealing drugs on the county line, moving from nest to nest, picking out people who daren’t say no. Keeping his head down, one step ahead of the law. So far. But now everything’s falling apart.
DS Laura O’Neil is running on empty after nights dealing with her teething toddler. But Laura is driving the hunt for Scarlett and knows that every minute counts.
A race against time, played out in the brooding wilderness, the limestone gorges and gritstone edges of the Peak District. Themes of escape and entrapment, of shifting loyalties and new alliances, of violence, fear and love, resilience, kindness and hope.
About the author:
Cath Staincliffe is a best-selling, award-winning novelist, radio playwright and the creator of ITV’s hit series, Blue Murder, starring Caroline Quentin as DCI Janine Lewis. Cath’s books have been short-listed for the British Crime Writers Association best first novel award, for the Dagger in the Library twice and twice for the Short Story Dagger, winning in 2012. She was a winner of the WGGB Best Radio Drama Award in 2019. Cath’s Sal Kilkenny private eye series features a single-parent sleuth working the mean streets of Manchester. Her debut Looking For Trouble was serialised on Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4. Trio, a stand-alone novel moved away from crime to explore adoption and growing up in the 1960s, informed by Cath’s own experience. Letters To My Daughter’s Killer was selected for Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club in 2014 and featured on ITV3’s Crime Thriller Club.
Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey novels based on the popular UK TV series. Cath created the probate detective series Legacy for BBC Radio 4 and guest writes on the Stone police drama. Her recent stand-alone novels examine the impact of crime on ordinary families. The Girl in the Green Dress was inspired by her experience as the parent of a transgender child. Cath’s latest book, Quiet Acts of Violence, sees detective duo DI Donna Bell and DC Jade Bradshaw investigating the death of a newborn baby and launching a hunt for her missing mother. Cath is one of the founding members of Murder Squad – a group of Northern crime writers who give readings, talks and signings around the country.
Cath was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, UK and now lives in Manchester, Lancashire with her family. You can follow her on Twitter, @CathStaincliffe, where she hangs about when she should be busy writing!
Running out of Road by Cath Staincliffe is a fast paced thriller that keeps you thoroughly entertained from beginning to end. Superbly written by acclaimed author Cath Staincliffe, the main storyline focuses on missing schoolgirl Scarlett, who has been abducted by by her father, Gregory Martin, a dangerous killer and one of the most wanted men in the country.
DS Laura O’Neil, running on empty after sleepless nights dealing with a teething toddler, is the driving force in charge of the case. With the help of PC Ahmed Ali, Laura knows she is in a race against time to capture the killer and find the missing schoolgirl before it’s too late.
Then there is Ron, a middle aged recluse who makes a living as a house and pet sitter, much preferring to spend his time with animals than with other people. And Dylan, a troubled young drug dealer who finds himself on the run, his life falling apart around him.
Cath Staincliffe has written a believable and faced paced thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout, cleverly fitting the pieces of the puzzle together as the layers are peeled back, revealing more and more about each character as we move through the book. A missing schoolgirl, an ex-firefighting recluse and an exploited teenager are about to have their lives crash together in the most spectacular way possible. Can DS Laura O’Neil get to the bottom of what’s going on and find 11 year old Scarlett before time runs out?
Cath Staincliffe’s writing is wonderful, bringing the brooding wilderness of the Peak District vividly to life. With fascinating characters and a gripping storyline, Running out of Road is a fast paced thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.
Running out of Road by Cath Staincliffe is available to purchase now.
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