Running out of Road – Cath Staincliffe

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.

My Review:

Cath Staincliffe is amongst the group of writers that I love to read without even checking the blurb first, and when I saw she had a new standalone book being published in July 2021, I was fortunate enough to get an Advanced Copy via Netgalley.

It’s always a pleasure to read Cath’s books and I was also thrilled to arrange the blogtour for this book, so my thanks first to all the incredible bloggers who agreed to take part and share their thoughts on the book.

Running Out Of Road is being published by Constable on 15th July with a page count of 272 pages.

I’m not a writer (obviously.. just read my reviews for confirmation), so I am in awe of all writers and anyone who has the imagination and skill to create a story especially stories where strangers who are totally unconnected are thrown together in terrifying circumstances.

This fast paced story centres around the abduction of 11 year old Scarlett by her father Gregory Martin, a dangerous killer who is one of the most wanted men in the county. Tasked with tracking down Martin and rescuing Scarlett is DS Laura O’Neill and PC Ahmed Ali. Both of whom, are dedicated and committed to the force and prepared to put their lives in danger to capture this killer.

Running alongside this storyline is Ron, a middle-aged ex-fire fighter who now house sits for a living, prefering the company of animals to humans, having experienced trauma in his past and Dylan, a troubled teenager and drug dealer who is mixed up with some bad people and now on the run.

All the characters are believable and have fascinating back stories which is slowly revealed throughout the book.

Overall, another superb story from Cath Staincliffe which I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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!

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