Just finished reading Jamie Freveletti's novel Running from the Devil, the long and the short of it is, I really enjoyed it.
I used to read a lot of books and then we had kids and ever since, I have been sporadic with my reading. I would pick up running books and other books that only require me to skim or to scan read and occasionally I would read a good adventure novel like the Ludlum books. The one thing I learned is that a good fictional novel requires and usually gets my full attention once I get started.
I saw my opportunity, an out of town business trip, a long plane flight (3+ hours to LA) and I had the perfect window of time to settle back and enjoy this book. The nice thing about diving into a book while on a completely full airplane is that it allows me to not have to talk to folks as most people won't disturb you if they see you reading a book. It worked both ways, thank you Tavia and Jamie for allowing me a very welcome distraction and some nice introverting time.
I wasn't too sure about this book going in, as it's background info said it featured intrigue, drugs, terrorists, etc... not what I usually enjoy reading about when I delve into fiction. For this type of book, it's imperative that I get into the characters and that the plot has a semblance of plausibility. This book established both fairly quickly. Jamie established the characters by providing just enough information to understand who folks were (great job of pulling me into the characters) but didn't divulge all of the info until it was needed later into the book. The main character is Emma Caldridge who happens to be a very good ultrarunner and a top notch chemist. Not to give the plot completely away but Emma is on a trip to Columbia, the plane crashes, she is thrown clear, she sees passengers surrounded by armed men. Turns out it was hijacked and the surviving passengers are herded off at gunpoint. She checks her cell phone, no service, she sends a text anyway, then the remains of the plane are blown up and she decides to follow them and we are off on the adventure.
Why was Emma going to Columbia? Was her text received by someone? Who did she send it to? Why the heck did she follow them? Why was the plane hijacked and why did it crash? How does her being an ultra runner and a chemist help the believability of the story? Who helps her? What did she have to learn to survive? How did she survive alone in the jungles of Columbia? Does it end happily ever after? Just of few of questions you will work your way through when reading this book.
Another thing I like in to have when I read a fictional book is believability? This book passed the test as well as the author seemed to make sure she had her verifiable facts correct and her fictional storyline did seem believable. We all know an ultrarunner can do anything, right? The book is a well done effort. My thanks to Tavia for sending me the book, it was a very welcome distraction on an otherwise boring business trip although I am not sure reading about a plane crashing as my plane was taking off was the smartest idea, at least for me.
My advice is find the book, read it and decide for yourself what you think. If anyone wants to read the book I received, I would be happy to pass it on, just drop me a note off-line and I will mail it on to you or Tavia also said in her last email that she still has some copies she would send out to folks willing to read it and do a review on their blog or podcast (if you want her email address, email me and I will forward it on). I think it's worth your time to read this book, I know for me, I will look forward to reading future novels from Jamie.
Here are some links to some reviews already posted about RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL, plus the author's website and book page (check out the video on her site).
Runner's Lounge http://www.runnerslounge.com/knowhow/index.cfm?id=43&ArticleID=d7bd4ad3-5ed2-4444-b04d-88cb34d3a93c
Nicole Gildersleeve http://ngildersleeve.blogspot.com/2009/05/running-from-devil.html
AUTHOR SITE http://jamiefreveletti.com/