There’s been a lot of talk about newcomer Jamie Freveletti with the publication last year of her first book, Running from the Devil, and after having read it, I can understand. This is a first-rate thriller, all the more amazing because it’s her debut novel. The book opens with a gripping airplane crash set in the Colombian jungles. The survivors are quickly taken hostage by guerrillas, who have a score to settle with the Colombian and American governments. Emma Caldridge, a chemist for a cosmetics company and an ultramarathon runner, is thrown from the wreckage and escapes capture. Feeling she has no alternative, she trails along behind the hostages as they are marched toward an unknown fate. Meanwhile, an American covert task force is rushed to the crash site in hopes of saving the survivors, only to find them gone. Emma has the good fortunate to team with Cameron Sumner, an injured American government agent the captors have left behind to die. As the two scheme try to stay alive, evade capture, and do what they can to save the hostages, they are being tracked by someone who is after Emma for a reason we do not understand. There is some secret she knows that may have been the reason the plane was downed to begin with. Will the task force be able to save them? Can Emma and Cameron stay alive long enough?
This is a compelling mystery/thriller that I could not put down. I had been wanting to read it and picked it up in an airport on the way back from Florida when I ran out of books. Freveletti does a great job of keeping the tension up as complication after complication prevents Emma and Cameron from helping the survivors escape and hampering their own ability to elude the crazed guerrilla who wants to see Emma die. Plus, as you start to understand the reasons why both of them were on the plane and what secrets each carries, you fear for their lives even if they manage to get back to America. I found that things became a bit muddled at the end as all the threads were all woven together, and I had to reread a few sections to ‘get it,’ but there is no question that RFTD is a fantastic read. I highly recommend it. I’m looking forward to reading Freveletti’s second book in the series, Running Dark, which came out earlier this year.
Here’s a photo of Jamie signing a copy of RWTD at Magna cum Murder. Want to win this book? I’m running a quickie contest. As I write this note, it’s Tuesday, November 16. Send me a note at tony perona @ gmail .com (you know the drill here…there’s a dot between tony and perona, no spaces around the @ symbol, and no space between ‘gmail’ and ‘.com’) Anyway, send me the first five words of the second sentence of this review (one of the words is hyphenated) to my email address through Friday, November 19, and you’ll be entered in a contest to win the book. I’ll select a correct entry at random on Saturday, November 20th and send the winner Jamie’s signed copy. Couldn’t be easier!