Casey Cox and the snake I found in my laundry room this morning have one thing in common: they're hiding from people who want to kill them.
Unlike that snake, though, Casey Cox was framed for murder and is now trying to hide from a rogue police officer and his gang of high-ranking cohorts. In the first book in Terri Blackstock's edge-of-your-seat trilogy, If I Run, Casey is chased not only by the corrupt offices, but also by Dylan Roberts, an ex-military private investigator. But when Dylan hears Casey's side of the story, he's torn. Does he do the job he was hired to do? Or does he help a fugitive escape the clutches of the murderous officers Keegan and Rollins?
For months, I didn't know. I'd gotten the first book for Christmas. I'd gotten the third book at LifeWay, but they didn't have the second book. Typical. I kept coming back until the store went out of business, and I finally found it at Books-a-Million. But once I got the book, I finished it in less than 24 hours. It was riveting.
If I'm Found is basically a rehash of the first book. There's a new setting and a few more characters, but the plot is basically identical. Casey finds a town to hide in, meets the victim of some crime (kidnapping in the first book, child molestation in the second) and vows to help them despite her own troubles. The endings are remarkably similar. Along the way, Casey and Dylan gather evidence about Keegan and Rollins and the growing list of people they're associated with. And, of course, they fall in love.
It might be the same plot, but I don't care. The storytelling is that good, and there's enough change to make it interesting. The dynamic between Casey and Dylan, for example, changes between the first and second books. The evidence they gather grows, and the lengths to which Keegan and Rollins will go to silence their witnesses increase as well. Eventually, the stress of hiding--and all the injuries she amasses along the way--take a toll on Casey. But I'm not here to spoil the entire book for you. I really want you to read it for yourself.
I recommend reading the first book, If I Run, first. It lays out some information that is, I'll admit, reviewed in the second book, but it's still beneficial. Plus, If I Run is a great book in and of itself. But if you can't find If I Run, don't worry--you won't feel lost if you pick up the second book first. That's the way a good sequel should be. I read If I'm Found about a year after finishing If I Run, and I didn't skip a beat.
I have three criteria for rating a good book. First, it must be interesting. Second, it must be well-written. Third, it must be clean (with bonus points if there's a Christian theme involved). If I'm Found meets all three criteria and even gets those bonus points. It talks more about God than the first book, and it's better edited--I didn't find a single typographical error in all 350 pages, whereas the word "Caucasian" was misspelled in the first book. Just once. The rest of it was great. And I've noticed some type-o's in my own books, so I'm definitely not judging.
Now, I'm debating if I should risk eating lunch in my snake-infested house today, or if I should just use those coupons I got for Taco Bueno...
What book have you read recently and enjoyed? And how the heck do you get a snake out of your house? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to check us out on Amazon!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.