Book Review: Runner


Author: Patrick Lee
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN13: 9781405914994
Genre: Fiction/ Sci fi
Pages: 464
Source: Flipkart

Runner by Patrick Lee is a chase thriller surrounding a young girl and a soldier who was in the right place at the wrong time. Sam Dryden, retired special forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she’s running from a group of heavily armed men who are trying to kill her. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the eleven year old, for as long as she can remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government. But she doesn’t know much beyond her own name, Rachel. She only remembers the past two months of her life and that she has a skill that makes her very dangerous to these men and the hidden men in charge.Dryden, who lost his wife and young daughter in an accident five years ago, agrees to help her try to unravel her own past and make sense of it, to protect her from the people who are moving heaven and earth to find them both.

The author has written a very exciting science fiction thriller. It is a fast paced story, with characters that you connect to and immediately like. You want to see Sam and Rachel get through this together. There is plenty of high-speed action, so the book is a fast read. There is no time to take a breather, its like you are running with the characters. The only thing going through your mind then is DON’T. GET. CAUGHT. which also happens to be the tag line of the book.

Patrick Lee  is the author of three previous novels – The Breach (A New York times best seller), Ghost Country and Deep Sky. This is the first book in the Sam Dryden series.

Runner is a perfect blend of action, science fiction and drama. A great read for anyone who likes thrillers. The twist and turns in the plot hold your attention and leave you with a adrenaline high. Recommended for everyone who enjoys that flavour.

Rating 4.5/ 5

The Girl Who Could Not Forget


Lara sat at her desk engrossed in the research papers she was reading. It had been four hours since she had spoken a word. She liked the silence. It was in stark contrast of noise in her head. She looked up as someone knocked on the door
“Sid” she thought

“Hey! You looks like you haven’t moved an inch since I left” He said rubbing his hands
“I’ve been writing the paper, that I have to present” She replied
“You are working too hard, doctor. You are going to be awesome as always” he said
“Its finally snowing” He said sitting on a chair across her “I think the winters have been delayed this year”
“by three days” she said, still looking at the papers in her hand.
“huh” he smirked
Sid was a little surprised by the precise answer, but with Lara he was getting used to it. He gave her a long look.
She was a pretty girl, prettier than she gave herself credit for. Her eyes were a perfect shade of hazel, which peeped out through the thick black framed glasses. Her lips were aptly luscious, they were never left alone by her teeth which kept nibbling on them. Her hair were long and wavy, always pulled back in a pony tail.
She was wearing a red sweater, which curved beautifully along the body it was placed on. It cast a scarlet refection on her ivory skin. Her white lab coat was the only thing that was amiss.
He hurriedly looked away as she caught him staring.
“Where were you on the first day of snow last year” he blurted out awkwardly
“At the lab” she said
“That was an easy one” he continued
“Yes” she said looking away
What she didn’t tell him was that she also remembered exactly what she did that day in all details. She could even visualize the calculations she had done on the micro-tron. She was used to withholding information. She had been instructed to do so as a kid and followed them diligently.
“Are you ready to go home yet?” Sid asked, bringing her back to the present.
“A few of these need my attention” she replied pointing at the papers
“Something else also does” Sid said pointing at himself
She looked at him and smiled for a instant and then looked away.
“Go home, Sid” she said “Don’t forget to pick that suit up from the cleaner”
“I had completely forgotten about it” Sid exclaimed “you always remember, don’t you?”
“I never forget” she said blankly.

Lara had known there was something different about her, while she was in school. When kids her age had difficulty memorizing things, it was surprisingly easy for her. She gradually realized that it wasn’t just academics that she remembered, but almost everything she saw, read or even heard. She even remembered all her dreams.
She had asked her dad about her condition once. He had told her she was special and made her promise she wouldn’t tell anyone about it. He had also told her that he would explain things to her when she grew up. His untimely death in an accident had left Lara alone with the terrifying memories, and a lot of unanswered questions.
Lara had aways thought her dad knew something about her that she didn’t, and was adamant to find out.
As she grew up her brain became a graveyard of information and memories.

By the time she reached home it was past midnight. She put the pasta from last night into the microwave as she changed into her pj’s. She took her dinner to the bed, which she shared with her laptop. The email icon was glowing. She checked it as she put the first bite of food into her mouth. It was the confirmation of her slot at the World Genetics Convention. She was presenting a paper at there the next morning. She set an alarm on the phone and an auto reminder to call Sid in the morning and switched off the lights before losing herself to sleep.

The auditorium where the WGC was being held was filled with who’s who of the science world. Lara was just nervous enough as she got on to the stage.
Sid beamed as his lady in the black dress began to talk.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, My name is Doctor Lara Kapoor and I am here to tell you a theory on Artificial Genetic Mutation of the Fetus.”
There was pin drop silence in the hall as she continued to speak for an hour on how a fetus could be genetically modified to make desired changes.  She spoke without looking into the papers in her hand or even at the slides. The expressions on peoples faces changed as she revealed data and showed possibilities.

It was time for the Q and A session. She pointed at the lady in the front row  who seemed eager to ask something
“Your theory sounds possible, but its not backed up with the case study, therefore questions about its practicality arise.” the lady said
A tiny smile perched itself on her face as she replied
“A detailed case study has been done on it. The experiment was conducted thirty years ago under the guidance of Dr. Ravi Kapoor, the famous Genetics scientist and my dad.” Lara replied
“He was successful in engineering a fetus as desired. He gave it a healthy body,  decided on the color of the eyes, hair and skin. He even worked on its brain to give it an above average IQ and an unfading memory. He charted it all in his papers for all the years he was alive. His detailed explanation of the experiment and the further analysis is all present in his logs.”  She answered

An elderly gentlemen next to the lady spoke into the mike.
“The existence of a Genetic mutation log by Dr. Ravi Kapoor has been speculated for years. Do you have proof that it exists?”
Lara took a moment before she replied
“It was kept a secret because the project was too personal for my father. He had planned of revealing it eventually, but his death took that opportunity away. It was such a well kept secret that it took me years just to get to it. But now I don’t have just have proof, I have the log itself” she said walking towards her laptop.

Sid shifted in his seat as he saw the screen change.

“Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you the creation and growth of the first genetically engineered individual, LARA”

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