Girl on the Run
reviewed by Pam Guynn
The prologue in Girl on the Run by Carolyn Arnold is strong and impactful and sets a suspenseful tone that escalates as the novel progresses. This is the eleventh book in the Detective Madison Knight mystery, crime thriller, and police procedural series.
Madison is waiting in line to buy coffee when she hears screams that someone has a gun. She rushes to the local train station to find two dead women and one shot, but still alive. There are no obvious signs of the gunman, but everyone seems to be talking about the young woman who was stealing from the coffee shop. Was this a random shooter or was one of the women targeted? Madison and her partner Detective Terry Grant are determined to solve the case.
The main character is not as likeable as many protagonists, but her faults make her feel more realistic than the perfect strong female lead. Driven to solve crimes and seek justice, Madison often goes on instinct, which doesn’t always mean she keeps an open mind. She can be too quick with accusations and has a hard time concealing her feelings. However, she shows some significant character growth during the book. Terry is even-keeled, open minded, and puts up with a lot from Madison. He balances her and their partnership seems to work well. While there are several characters in the book, each is crisply fleshed out making them easy to remember.
The book has a good mix of suspense and police investigation and has an unexpected and action-filled ending. Readers are quickly pulled into the story line with a writing style that grabs and holds one’s attention. The deeply involved plot is twisty, absorbing, and has several tangential investigations that keep Madison and Terry working long hours. There are several potential suspects and enough questions to keep the reader turning the pages. Will you guess who the killer is and why they did it? Several themes run through the story line including murder, friendship, a bit of romance, grief, grudges, and much more.
Overall, this was an enthralling story that held me captivated from the first page to its shocking conclusion. The author did a great job of building suspense throughout the story and weaving the threads together. I look forward to seeing what is next for Madison and Terry. Readers of mysteries and police procedurals will likely enjoy this series. By reading the series in order, the character growth and the relationships that develop over time are more obvious. However, this novel can be read as a stand-alone.
Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc. and Carolyn Arnold provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for April 6, 2022.