I’d been a fan of Alan McDermott’s work for some time, having got hooked on the high-octane, pure thrills of his excellent Tom Gray series – so when I was afforded the opportunity of an early read of his new book, Run and Hide, I leapt at the chance.
This is the first book of an all new series featuring Eva Driscoll, an ex-operative for the US government, who plummets headlong into the shady conspiratorial world at the top of the American power structures. Simply, her brother is dead, and she wants to know why – and avenge him.
She is a marvellous creation – a leather-clad, highly-trained, woman-of-mass-destruction with guts, grit and smarts. The plot that she uncovers, and the circumstances under which her brother’s death was arranged, I found both enthralling and highly topical, with the nature and responsibility of power one of the key issues explored.
The book moves along breathlessly, yanking the reader with a firm grip, as forces circle on Eva and her cohorts. I got the firm sense that McDermott is not just creating a world for his characters to maraud through, but expanding on the wider literary world he has created, with the welcome return of certain characters from his other works.
As we progress to the kind of conclusion most blockbuster movies wouldn’t have the chutzpah to even attempt, I found myself asking broader questions of myself and my own feelings on the question of taking orders and executing them without asking for an explanation – and what the effects of your instructed actions can have in the long term. I thought of the power distant hands carry, keeping clean while the dirty work is done at a comfortable distance, and what the costs of this are. In the modern political climate, it was without doubt a thought-provoking read.
In summary, Run and Hide, is full-throttle, topically-prescient entertainment of the highest order. Driscoll is a new creation that will have you rooting for her without question or pause, and will earn a great number of fans, old and new – and I’m personally delighted to see that the follow up, Seek and Destroy, is coming November 14th… because after that ending, I need to find out what happens and sharpish.
Run and Hide is published by Thomas and Mercer and is available here: