Three words to sum up The Running Game (Reachers) by L E Fitzpatrick ~
Fast-paced, thrilling & imaginative
The Running Game (Reachers)
This book, the first in the Reachers is set in London but not as we know it. It's somewhere in the future although it doesn't say how far but it's plausible and I can completely visualise it in my mind's eye. It reminds me of the 1984 Robocop set in 2028 where it's almost derelict, crime is high, even the cops are crooked and everyone's out for themselves.
Then there's the Reachers. People with mind powers that are quickly becoming rare. The priest is convinced they are God's angels sent to protect.
Rachel Aaron is a Reacher. At a young age, her father taught her the running game. Count the exits, calculate the routes and always be ready to run because they will always be coming for you. For seven years she tried her best to blend in. Working as a doctor in London, now known as Safe Haven (S'aven) and dating a cop but her time is up. They are coming for her and she needs to run.
The infamous Smith brothers, Charlie and John are also Reachers. They are criminals and have a reputation of getting the job done. They have been hired to track down Rachel and take her to Pinky Morris, a not so nice gangster. It seems like a straight forward job. The Smith brothers certainly need the money. Charlie is in a bad way following the tragic death of his wife and John is fighting his own demons but they need to find Charlie's daughter. This job will provide them with some money that will help them do that.
Then they find out Rachel is a Reacher, which changes everything. They can't give up another Reacher. There's a strict code to protect your own and the brothers abide by it. Instinct kicks in and they make it their mission to protect her and get her out of S'aven to safety but not before getting what they are owed. A so-called old friend, Roxy, with a hidden agenda of his own, offers to help. John doesn't trust him as far as he can throw him. Rachel feels the same but Charlie doesn't listen and let's Roxy in.
So, Charlie draws up the plan, John takes care of the muscle men, Rachel uses her mind powers to get them in and Roxy cracks the safe. Roxy tells Charlie he doesn't want any money. Use his share to find his daughter. The plan goes well until someone walks into the office. John steps up to take care of it and tells Roxy to take Rachel out to Charlie waiting in the car except Roxy doesn't. He has his own revenge planned and if it means handing Rachel over to Pinky Morris so be it.
Pinky Morris wants to know who killed his brother Frank. If he just had a Reacher then he'd be able to find out. He needed Rachel. Pinky's wife Riva gets Rachel because she will make everything right again and takes her to their house. All is revealed but it doesn't matter. Frank is still dead and soon Rachel will be too. The Smith brothers must step up and save Rachel.
I'm not a paranormal reader although I don't know why because I enjoy paranormal films but L E Fitzpatrick hosted an event for me and when I read the blurb to this book, I thought, it sounds really good, I'm going to give it a try so I took the plunge and popped my paranormal cherry. I am so glad I did.
This is a whodunit with a BIG difference. The imagination to create this whole new world where Reachers exist is quite amazing. L E Fitzpatrick had me believing this was real. The characters leaped out at me and had me hooked from the first page. I read this in 24 hours because I just couldn't put it down in case I missed something.
I really liked Rachel. She's a strong woman who can take care of herself but she's sick of running. From one kiss she can learn everything there is to know about a person and she can control things with her mind. She's funny and clever and had managed to stay off the radar for seven years. I know I wouldn't mind her powers. I felt sorry for her boyfriend cop Mark. He was one of the good guys but it seemed everyone took him for a ride especially his horrid partner Gary.
Charlie. What wasn't there to like about Charlie? He's loyal, he loves his brother and he has been through the mill but he's a good person who just wants to make things right. His Reacher powers are quite similar to Rachel's although he can't read minds. As for John, I think I'm in love. A man made of steel who can take down an army of men without breaking a sweat. He carries a lot of guilt who trusts no one and doesn't smile often but as Rachel offers up her charm, she slowly scratches the surface of the real man he is. I'm not sure what kind of Reacher he is. It never said. Apart from being strong and powerful and quick and light on his feet, he doesn't seem to hold any mind powers. When Rachel touched him she didn't get the same Reacher connection she got from Charlie.
It was kind of hard not to like Roxy. He had charm, a good sense of humor and I think he generally meant well but he had his own problems to deal with and he had to do what he had to do. He was far from loyal and couldn't be trusted. Pinky Morris, what a vulgar man and I am glad he got what he deserved. I didn't mind his wife Riva. She only ever looked out for husband but got no thanks in return. Gary just made my skin crawl and Donnie was just plain mad.
This book was fast-paced and action packed. I did not want it to end. I would love to see this in film. That would be excellent. Now, all I want to know is... when can I read the next one?! The end of the book, it gives you a slight insight into what happened to Mark. I want to know what comes next for the Reachers, Rachel, Charlie and John. What kind of Reacher is John and do they find Lilly?
I highly recommend The Running Game (Reachers) and I award it 5 shiny gold stars. Well done L E Fitzpatrick. I totally love your ability to bring this paranormal story to life.
You can also find this review on Amazon.co.uk and Goodreads.
To purchase your own copy, you can download it here ~
You can keep up to date with L E Fitzpatrick's work on the following links ~