Author: Parker Williams
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 28th 2017
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.
He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence—
But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos and he must make the hardest decision of his life.
Parker Williams is a good author. I have enjoyed his work in the past, and I’d definitely try another book written by him in the future. However, Runner was mostly a miss with me. Maybe I expected something else, but while the premise was interesting, the execution didn’t quite work.
I did like the writing a lot and I think that the author did a good job describing Matt’s struggles, living with anxiety and PTSD. I also appreciated the description of Matt’s home. This is important to the story and Williams described the setting pretty vividly, making it interesting without boring the reader with unnecessary details. And thankfuly, there was no magic dick to cure Matt’s issues.
My biggest issue was that it seemed to me that Matt and Charlie’s love came out of the left field. The build up was next to zero. One minute they were trying to overcome Matt’s problems, the other they were in love. Also, I don’t get why they had to keep trashing Mitch, Charlie’s ex. Granted, he was a douchebag, but they kept bringing him up for no reason, comparing everything to him. Even sex.
Matt’s mom was getting on my last nerve. She failed him big time when he was a teenager, during the two years that followed the big incident. I really didn’t buy her involvement towards the end. Even when she reunited with her son, their relationship always felt cold and awkward to me.
I never managed to connect with Charlie’s character and missing his POV didn’t help. He was too perfect, and the dialogue with Matt was too sugary sweet after a while.