Few of Harlan Coben’s 30 or so thrillers are anything less than gripping, but every now and again he writes one that exceeds his own high standards. Run Away is one such. The warm family life of New Yorkers Simon and Ingrid Greene is destroyed when their once-happy daughter Paige disappears into a world of drug addiction, fuelled by her boyfriend.
The ubiquitous “missing daughter” trope is given another outing in Run Away but as its author is Harlan Coben the way the device is handled is anything but formulaic. Things open conventionally enough with Simon and Ingrid asking for help in tracing runaway Paige in the scuzzy New York area where she lived with a heroin addict... but then story lines centred on a bizarre pair of assassins and a ballsy female PI add complications. Characteristically, the plot is stuffed with spicy, sharply observed characters and snappy exchanges. But uncharacteristically, the twist “reveals” something many readers will have considered a possibility from early on.