No Place To Run
reviewed by Cara DiCostanzo
Francesca, an elderly widow, is on a train from California to Seattle, having just spread her husband’s ashes. As she is sitting in the dining car, early in the morning, she sees a young redheaded girl running through the woods, seemingly being chased by a man. When she meets the eyes of the girl, she recognizes her as a girl who has been missing from Seattle for two years, Scarlett Faith.
Two years ago, Aidan Faith’s younger sister, 15-year-old Scarlett, flew to Seattle to visit him from the UK. She had never been to America, and he was excited to show her many things. But then she disappears into thin air. No one has seen her until Aidan gets a call from a complete stranger telling him they have spotted Scarlett in Northern California. Aiden, after meeting with Francesca, thinks she is telling the truth and immediately books a trip on the same train she took, the Coast Starlight to Northern California, a journey of 800 miles.
When Aiden arrives at the nearest town to where Scarlet had last been sighted, he notices that there is an unusually large amount of missing persons posters – all teens and young adults. Forest fires had recently devastated the town of Eaglewood, California. He finds the locals standoff-ish until he meets Lana Carrera, who is searching for her missing brother, believed to have died in the wildfires, but Samuel’s body has never been found. Lana is a local resident and not well-liked in town because of her questions regarding her brother’s death. It seems an entire town is involved in a cover-up, but Lana and Aidan can’t figure out what it is.
There are so many triggering themes in this book; trafficking, rape, kidnap, drugs and murder. I have devoured most of Mark Edwards’ books as I am one of his biggest fans, but be prepared that this one is darker than any book I have read by him. While it does not go into detail, it is implied. I was completely engrossed in this book right from the first page. There were many great characters in this novel with depth, measuring from awful to great. The heavy themes of brainwashing and cults are explained with detail, but the ending was a big surprise to me. One of my favorite things about Edwards’ novels is you always know there is something coming around the corner that you didn’t see. No Place to Run did not disappoint.