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  • Writer's pictureJ J Hanna

Book Review: Run Away by Harlan Coben

Updated: Dec 31, 2023

🖋 🖋🖋🖋🖋 This book is expertly written and I enjoyed every part of it—the plot twists, the unveiling, and the mystery itself kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat.

🔪🔪🔪 This book gets three knives for violence. There are quite a few murders, but the way they’re written (mostly) leaves the gore out of it. It’s very matter of fact and the violence is handled well. All in all, not as violent as would be expected from a book with hit men, drug dens, and murder mysteries.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ I’d give this book four stars for incredible pacing, mystery, and plot. My only disappointment is that as focused as the story was on Paige, I didn’t feel her story was woven through the resolution well enough to leave me satisfied in regard to her. But the rest of the plot was phenomenal.


Simon Greene’s daughter Paige has been missing for months. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to track her down, until he finally gets a lead that she’ll be playing at Strawberry Fields at Central Park.

When that meeting goes wrong—leading to a few moments of unwanted viral fame as a video of Simon seemingly assaulting a homeless man takes over YouTube—he loses his only chance to save his daughter as she is sucked back into the drug addict life her boyfriend, Aaron, provides for her.

Not long after the internet craze has faded away, Aaron shows up dead in he and Paige’s apartment, and Simon sets out once more to find his daughter. But try as he might, Paige is in the wind, and now he’s a suspect in Aaron’s murder.

States away, Ash and Dee Dee continue down their hit list, taking out man after man until they draw too much attention to themselves and Ash has no other option than to return Dee Dee to the cult that acted as her home—to keep her safe from the police. Ash doesn’t know who hired them specifically, but someone in this cult wanted those men dead. And as long as he got paid, he didn’t care who died.

Private Investigator Elena Ramirez enters the scene in search of a missing boy named Henry Thorpe, and her investigations lead her to Aaron’s murder scene. Uncertain if the cases are connected but not wanting to miss any vital information, Simon and Elena begin comparing notes and sharing information.

But the question remains: how is Paige connected to these cult murders? Who killed Aaron? And where did Paige disappear to?



I really loved this book, all the way up until the end. Coben kept me on my toes, weaving the tapestry of the murders and the characters lives together so that even I, an experienced weaver myself, was left guessing. The final effect was one of a story where nothing is unbelievable—except for the plot thread that kept you reading in the first place. As I’ve already said, I was disappointed with the resolution for Paige’s character. I guess I had hoped she’d have a larger part to play in the murders, a larger part to play in the mystery. We spent much of the book trying to unravel her story, only to have her be connected to the main tension and plot by a very narrow thread that seems too weak to pull the weight.

But I also have to say that I am a tough sell, and Coben had me gripped from paragraph one. I was so distracted by this book I uploaded the wrong files to YouTube and convinced my sister to go out to dinner so I wouldn’t have to stop reading to cook. I then proceeded to binge it on a plane, so eager to read I forgot to put my headphones in. So that should tell you something about how hooked I was by this book. I highly recommend it.


Book information:

Title: Run Away

Author: Harlan Coben

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Published: March 12th, 2019 by Grand Central Publishing


A note on how I review fiction books:

I have a few genre specific reviews (out of 5):

Knives (🔪) for how much violence/gore/death there is in a book.

Pens (🖋️) for how well I feel the book was written, this includes grammar and plot.

Kisses (💋) for how much romance or how many/how spicy romantic encounters are in the book and how well it's written.

Stars (⭐) for how likely I am to recommend the book to someone.

I will then provide a summary of the book and a few final thoughts.



J. J. Hanna is a writer and reader of suspense, crime, thriller, and mystery novels. If you'd like her to review your novel, reach out to her on the contact page. She may review your book even if it doesn't fall into those genres.

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