Run To Me is a suspenseful, impossible-to-put-down chase thriller with riveting twists and turns . . .
It’s been two years since Shyler O’Neil’s beloved son Jesse was killed – but his final moments are as vivid to her now as they were that dreadful day. Suffering from post-traumatic stress, and convinced she did not do enough to protect him, she retreats to an isolated cabin in the woods of northern Maine.
Meanwhile, Zack Ballinger – a ten-year-old boy who has never known a mother’s love – finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s seen too much and is now running for his life. Fleeing into the woods, Zack soon finds himself at Shyler’s cabin. He’ll take whatever help she can give – even though, for some reason, she keeps calling him Jesse . . .
With the pursuers hot on their heels, ‘mother’ and ‘son’ go on the run. Protecting Zack may well be Shyler’s one chance at redemption.
Either that, or she is the child’s greatest threat . . .
Run To Me is the debut novel from author Diane Hester and tells a potent story about love, grief and secrets. Two years ago Shyler lost her son Jesse in a robbery gone wrong. Blamed by her now ex-husband as the cause of his death despite the courts believing her story, she becomes a hermit up in Deadwood, a skiing town in Northern Maine where she spent time as a little girl. She is barely functioning as a human being but she is content to be where she is at. However, a little boy is about to walk into her life and bring changes for the better.
Zach does not care about himself but he is worried for his little foster brothers, Reese and Corey, and makes sure he gets the brunt of any punishment from their foster parents who don’t care for the kids and use the state aid to get drunk. He hasn’t been loved by anyone in years and doesn’t trust anyone after his mother promised that she would come back for him after she got married to the guy he hated. However, that never happened as they were killed and he was stuck in foster care. So when two social workers knock on the door of the Leary’s home, his foster parents, he is suspicious because they have been stuck there for months. When they provide credentials and promises of taking them away from the Learys immediately, he gets slightly optimistic. He soon realises that he has led the other boys into something worse when he overhears the social workers.
The social workers are not who they say they are, but criminals named Vanessa and Nolan, who work for someone. They want the kids to tell their associate Tragg where the briefcase is that Zach saw being hidden at the abandoned warehouse they play in, as they want its contents and the kids for nefarious purposes. Zach and the boys make a daring escape from the car and get into a truck heading to Deadwood to try and escape but there are consequences in store.
Meanwhile, Zach is having his problems: Shyler cuts her hand and comes to the notice of the new local doctor, Chase, who recognises that Shyler has PTS and hasn’t been treated for it. Intrigued by the woman, he tries to find out more about her and comes up with a few dead ends despite trying to get her to open up. A call to her mother gets the address to the cabin where he discovers a destroyed cabin, a hysterical Shyler and a little boy he has never seen before. The little boy is Zach but Shyler is delusional and thinks that it is Jesse and she needs to protect him from the bad men who trying to kill him. Shyler is right about the guys who are after her and Zach. They are Nolan and Tragg brought in to help Vanessa … but how did Zach end up with Shyler?
Zach knew he had to stay hidden once he got to Deadwood with Corey and Reese but escaping by causing an accident results in Corey getting hurt so they are left at the doctor’s office. Then Vanessa manages to get Corey and Zach on his own. By chance he finds Shyler and he decides to stay as she treats him with love and care. He does not get why she keeps calling him Jesse but goes along with it and calls her mum.
Zach is not safe because the criminals want him back despite him disclosing where the briefcase is and when Chase makes a phone call and finds out that Shyler is out of her mind. Is Zach going to be safe and will be the boys be all right and will Shyler be able to get help to comprehend what is happening?
I was captivated from the moment we meet Zach, the boy who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He has had a hard life and the things he goes through to keep his promise to Corey and Reese to find them a good home I found engaging. He is a little boy who lost his innocence too soon and it’s sad but luckily there is a happy ending for all the characters.
Publisher : Random House Australia
Source : Publicist Provided for review
Released : March 1st 2013