Review: Run Away by Harlan Coben!

Hello, Hi, Welcome to the ongoing saga that is “Christina is totally full of lies”! I know I said I’d have this up 86 million years ago but my life is a giant busy mess! However, my husband and I are moving from Texas to New Mexico on September 1st and we couldn’t be more excited! We’re incredibly busy [read: stressed] but it’s also a really exciting time since we’ve been dreaming about the mountains for, well, forever. Anyway, I’m back from our weekend trip to Colorado and off again this weekend so I want to fit in a couple of my majorly back logged reviews this week so I thought I’d start with my favorite. Without further ado, here’s my review for Run Away by Harlan Coben!

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Initial Thoughts:

a genuine classic.

Simon Greene knows the worst thing that can happen to a parent is being unable to save their child from personal demons. He knows this on a visceral, personal and heart breakingly painful level. His first child, the girl who made him a father, Paige fell into an abusive relationship with an older man and is now addicted to drugs. Simon and his wife worked tirelessly to help Paige, to save her, to fix her, to do anything to help her escape the crippling addiction that chipped away at her once vibrant, creative and bright future. Despite their best efforts, despite moments that it seemed like she may really get better those moments were elusive and would quickly slip through their fingers as Paige slipped back into the waiting arms of heroine.

And bad stays. Bad doesn’t go away. You bury bad, it digs itself out. You throw bad in the middle of the ocean, it comes back at you like a tidal wave.

Anyone familiar with addiction on even a cursory level knows that at a certain point you have to draw lines. Not light, penciled lines that can be erased but deep fissures in the foundation of your relationship with an addict. Ultimatums have to be made or you run the risk of enabling them, making it worse not just for them but for you and your life. This is just what Simon and his wife Ingrid must do with Paige. They can no longer sit idly by and watch her wither away, threatening the livelihood and happiness of not just themselves but their other children. Paige is an adult who doesn’t want to be a part of their family and they must let her go in hopes that she will find her way back to them.

When a friend tells Simon he’s seen a girl in Central Park playing music who looks just like Paige he tries everything to hunt her down. When he finally does see the daughter he’s thought he lost he can’t help but approach her. As her face twists into a show of fear, she immediately runs away with Simon quickly approaching behind her. As Simon and his wife grapple with the decision to let Paige go or to chase after her they both realize they can no longer wait as Paige destroys herself. They must find her, they must attempt, yet again, to help her out of the grave she’s dug for herself. They will stop at nothing to save their daughter. As they uncover the secrets of Paige’s life they find that they’re no longer standing outside of the hole Paige has dug, but they’ve lowered themselves into it and their very lives are now in danger.

Kids don’t come with instruction manuals, and you quickly learn that your child comes to you hardwired, that in the battle of nature vs nurture, nature kicks complete and total ass—still, when things go wrong, when something this dark invades your child’s soul, you can only wonder where the hell you went wrong

This is my first book by Coben and the man did absolutely not disappoint. I will be honest with you, I fell a bit into the “judging a book by it’s cover” with this beauty. The synopsis didn’t necessarily blow me away because domestic drama’s aren’t generally my *vibe*. However, I’m so stinkin’ happy that I picked this baby up because it completely blew my socks off. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again but part of reading is the suspension of reality. I love Fantasy so that’s never been particularly difficult for me. However, with Run Away Coben beings with a believable premise, crafts a believable story with believable characters but doesn’t lose any suspense, thrill or entertainment value in doing so. This is a master class in writing a grounded, realistic depiction of a parents worst nightmare making it all the more thrilling for it’s realism.

Run Away is so much more than what meets the eye. What starts off as feeling fairly predictable quickly turns into a twisty thrill ride that left me breathless throughout most of the read. I honestly had no idea what I was getting into with this and it quickly made itself the newest addition to my “favorites” shelf. The character and story development is rich and layered with Coben not sacrificing any detail throughout. I found myself hurdling towards the end, biting my nails with a deep need to understand how the Greene’s story would end.

Truth is truth. By definition. Anything else is a lie.

While on it’s surface this is the story of a family fighting for each other. Parents fighting for their daughter, a husband and wife fighting to find their way back to one another and a daughter fighting to stay alive – it’s so much more. I found myself consistently surprised throughout this heart-pounding, heart-aching thrill ride of a novel. The intricacy and delicacy that Coben showed throughout the novel left me in awe of his skill and ability to craft a story so emotional it felt tangible. Immediately after finishing this book my library had a huge sale and I picked up all the Coben novels available. They’re on my short list of upcoming reads and if his other novels are even half as good as this I’m feeling that I’ve found a new favorite author.

Final Thoughts:

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Straight KILT it.

Suggested for: Thriller/mystery fans, fans of domestic thrillers, those who enjoy family drama’s – but also everyone, this book was amazing!

Music Mood: Sleeping on the Blacktop by Colter Wall

I’m not going to make any promises but I’m working on getting more of my back logged reviews up ASAP! Once we finish this move and all the traveling I have coming up I’m looking forward to having more time to breathe and review so stay with me! 

Have you read Run Away by Harlan Coben? If so, what did you think? If you’ve read other books by Coben let me know you’re favorites!


21 thoughts on “Review: Run Away by Harlan Coben!”

  1. This was my first Harlan Coben as well and i loved it 🙂
    Gonna invest some time to read his other books too. I especially liked the lawyer woman side character 😀


  2. Amazing review, I have only read one book by Harlan Coben and I absolutely loved and enjoyed his book as well, I really want to read more books by him again. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.


  3. Excellent review. I think it has too much darkness for me though. I am glad you liked it. Good luck with your move!!


  4. Ooo, that’s a really compelling review, Christina! I read Norrie’s review as well, and between the two of you, you’ve convinced me I should get this one like yesterday. Though it does sounds like a really heartbreaking read.

    Meanwhile, I hope everything goes well for the planned move. Take care of you and your hubby!


    1. Thanks so much Alexandra! This is a slam dunk, it’s definitely one I’d suggest 🙂 Fingers crossed I can get this move over smoothly and finally be able to settle back into a routine. Everything has been a hectic mess since my husbands surgery!


  5. […] This book was such a doozie and it absolutely blew me away. When I picked it up I was definitely falling into the “judge a beautiful book by it’s beautiful cover” trap and this time it absolutely paid off! I thought I knew what this book was going to be about (a run away, obviously) but it packed so much more into it’s pages than I ever could’ve anticipated. I flew through this novel at break-neck speed and it’s one of the few books that’s nestled itself into my favorites shelf this year. It’s absolutely one I’d suggest anyone who is looking at it picks up! You can find my review for this one here! […]


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