Terri Blackstock’s If I Run trilogy follows Casey Cox on the run from the law. In the first book, also titled If I Run, Casey went to meet her friend, Brent, at his home only to discover his bloody, lifeless body. Horrified, she ran from the scene, leaving a trail of evidence and DNA between his house and hers. She threw a few things together and fled in disguise.
Dylan Roberts has been hired by Brent’s parents to find Casey. He and Brent grew up together, but Dylan had never met Casey. Dylan had been a criminal investigator while in military service, but his severe PSTD has prevented him from landing the police job he wanted. As Dylan searched for Casey, he can’t help but do a bit of his own investigating and profiling. Nothing pointed to Casey as a killer — except her DNA at the crime scene.
Dylan is a Christian and struggles with gaining victory over his PTSD. Casey is not a believer, but comes across a Christian lady in her new location.
As Casey starts life with a new look, name, and job, she discovers that a missing girl is being kept captive. If Casey helps her, she risks blowing her cover and being discovered. But how can she not?
The chapters go back and forth from Casey’s and Dylan’s viewpoints as more of the story unfolds. Casey’s reasons for running become clear.
In Book 2, If I’m Found, Casey is on the run again in a different town with a different look and name. Dylan believes her story and finds an untraced way to communicate with her. They agree that it’s too dangerous for Casey to come back: first they need to have a solid case against the people who killed Brent and are after her. Dylan has to be careful to make it seem like he is still searching for Casey while he’s actually seeking evidence to clear her.
Meanwhile Casey accidentally witnesses parents giving their daughter to a man who pays them for time with the girl to abuse her. By the time Casey realizes what is going on, it’s too late to stop the incident. But she can’t let this happen again and looks for ways to rescue the girl and bring the adults to justice.
I was a little afraid the plot would follow the same formula in Book 3, If I Live, with Casey risking her own safety to help an innocent victim. Thankfully, that was not the case. By this point in the story, Casey is getting weary. She and Dylan have not only met, but have come to care for each other. But they still need further evidence to bring a solid case against Casey’s pursuers. Dylan is having a harder time keeping up the ruse that he’s still looking for Casey, which puts his own life in danger. Meanwhile Casey is having an even harder time avoiding notice as the police have issued several pictures of her in different disguises taken from various business security cameras. Danger escalates on all sides as Brent’s killers get more desperate. In this book some of the chapters are from the killer’s point of view as well as Dylan’s and Casey’s. Dylan is gaining victory over his PTSD, but his parents’ misunderstanding makes it even harder.
Finally Dylan and Casey have what the evidence they need. But who can they give it to? They can’t trust anyone in the police department, because the killer has several of them under his thumb. As they concoct a plan, they draw closer to each other, closer to God, and the plot comes to an exciting conclusion.
I read the first two books in this series in quick succession while traveling. Since I had the third one on hand, I decided to wait to review the series all togteher after reading the last book.
The story grabbed me from the very beginning. Each book was hard to put down. I was glad I had them all before I started so I could immediately go to the next one instead of waiting. I’ve loved Terri’s books since I first read her Newpointe 911 series decades ago and passed them on to my mom. I love that her characters are relatable. I enjoyed getting to know both Casey and Dylan and felt with them through their stresses and faith journeys.
Terri says in the afterword of the last book that this series was inspired by the old TV show, The Fugitive. That was one of my favorites shows as a kid, with the innocent man on the run from the relentless detective. I also didn’t realize until that afterword that the three covers go together to form a picture. Clever!
An excellent series all together. Highly recommended if you like suspense stories. Even though that’s not the genre I read most often, I enjoyed this series very much. As it happens, just now the first book is on sale for the Kindle app for $1.99.