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On the Run [Kindle Edition]

Iris Johansen
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $7.59
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Neil Cross is a British novelist and screenwriter best known as the creator of the multiple-award-winning international hit BBC crime series Luther. Natural History, his latest effort, is a suspense novel using an animal sanctuary as an intriguing setting.

Book Description

For eight years, single mother Grace Archer has been living a picture-perfect life raising her daughter on a horse farm in the small town of Tallanville, Alabama. Watching Frankie grow into a talented and confident young girl has made Grace as happy as any mother could hope to be. Happy enough, even, to forget the past. But the past never quite goes away. Which is why a certain charismatic man also moved to Tallanville eight years ago to watch over her.

But when violence threatens to shatter Grace and Frankie's idyllic home, the waiting is over. The ghosts of the past have returned. And they're hungry for blood. Now Grace must resume an identity she thought she had cast off forever, and match wits with an opponent as deadly as he is cunning. The prize: an extraordinary secret that only she can unfold. The forfeit: losing the thing more precious to her than life itself.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A single mom and gifted horse handler, Grace Archer goes on the lam with her equally exceptional eight-year-old daughter, Frankie, after a Middle Eastern magnate named Marvot kills the owner of the Alabama horse farm where they have been hiding under the watchful eye of Grace's former employer, the CIA. Johansen (Firestorm, etc.) blends action, suspense and family values as Frankie's father, ex-CIA commando Jake Kilmer, comes back into Grace's life to protect her and the child he has never known. Grace blames Jake for her father's death and the end of her career, but there's no one else she trusts against Marvot, who wants her to train his lethal blue-eyed Arabian stallion and mare, known as the Pair, to lead him to treasure buried somewhere in the Moroccan desert. The novel starts off with guns blazing and doesn't slow down for murder, kidnapping, blackmail, sex or sandstorm. Johansen borrows openly from the movies Hollywood thinks women love (Grace talks to horses, though she balks at being called a horse whisperer), crafts family scenes (Marvot playing chess with his son; the Pair with their colt) and offers a mother and father who defend the world from criminals while yearning for domestic tranquillity. The Johansen formula works so well in this novel that readers may expect a sequel. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The CIA put Grace Archer and her young daughter, Frankie, under protective custody on a small horse farm in Alabama. When their cover is blown, the CIA wants to use Grace and Frankie as bait to smoke out Marvot, an old enemy. The only person who can help is Jake Kilmer, a rogue agent. Years ago, he trained Grace as an operative so that the CIA could benefit from her uncanny talent for handling horses. They wanted to find out why a French Moroccan underworld kingpin wanted to train two beautiful, wild, and extremely dangerous horses known as "the Pair." The mission was a failure, and Grace, then pregnant, went into hiding, distrusting Kilmer, with whom she was having an affair. Now Marvot has put a bounty on Grace and Frankie's heads, wanting to bring them back to Morocco to train the horses. Kilmer wants to kill Marvot and use "the Pair" himself. Frankie trusts Kilmer; now Grace must find out if she can do the same. Johansen gives her readers what they have come to expect from the queen of suspense: a truly evil, skin-crawling villain and complex heroes who must tangle with him in the shadow world of foreign intrigue. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 252 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0739325949
  • Publisher: Bantam (December 6, 2005)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FCKKRG
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,168 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paranormal twist to this good but not great read May 18, 2006
Format:Hardcover
Grace Archer is a former CIA operative who has been in hiding on Charlie's horse farm in a very small Alabama town. She and her eight year old daughter Frankie are also overseen by Robert Blockman, a CIA operative who lives in the town undercover. The four of them have good times together and have become fast friends over the nearly nine years Grace has been in hiding. Unbeknownst to Grace her former coworker and lover, Jake Kilmer, has stirred up the pot and now the evil Marvot is sending everyone and everything after Grace and her daughter.

Of course the only one that can help them is Jake who is no longer directly or indirectly with the CIA. Grace trusts him to take care of her and Frankie but as for more personal trust--that will take time. Grace has an almost magical way with horses and thus Marvot wants her back in El Tariq to help him with a very special "Pair" of Arabian horses.

I enjoyed the danger, intrigue and adventures and less the "paranormal" aspects of this story although I usually enjoy some paranormal twists but I felt that the story needed more background on how Grace developed/discovered her talent and how she had used it before to help make it more plausible. A fun read nevertheless.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I've got to go against the crowd here. January 11, 2006
Format:Hardcover
I wouldn't call this her best. I wouldn't even put it in the top ten. It's a grab bag of genre cliches loosely held together by momentum with a sub-plot that literally made me say "That's IT?" I mean, seriously - that's the pivotal thing that makes the bad guy hate them and causes everything to roll? Because it's pretty absurd. It's not even suspend your disbelief absurd, it's just cartoonish.

Essentially, you have a Woman On The Run with a Child In Danger and she's been Abandoned By The CIA so only her ExLover The Mercenary can help her, but she doesn't trust him because, well, that's what she does. Suddenly things are exploding, bad guys are proving their oh so bad by threating to sexually assualt children, and the Woman Must Face Down Evil to prevail. Except the evil is so laughably evil that you wonder he survived as long as he did. And the Way She Can Succeed is so implausible that you really can't take it seriously. It requires magic animals and weather shamans.

Iris Johansen writes great thrillers. This one is a misfire. Wait for paperback if you must know and if you haven't read her at all, pick another.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful book December 24, 2006
By ACS
Format:Hardcover
I am constantly amazed at what can get published. The plot of this book requires the reader to suspend any sense of logic and rationality. In fact, the plot is so far-fetched I thought it was a parody. The characters are not believable at all. The reader is supposed to believe that Mozart has been re-incarnated as Frankie. Um right. And I am the queen of Spain. This is the first book by the author that I have read and I am not anxious to pick up another one. I found the plot lines and character developments to be insultingly stupid. Almost too embarassed to donate this book. I pray for the trees sacrificed to make this.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing September 4, 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a long time fan of Iris Johansen's books, but I found On The Run very disappointing. The character and relationship development was weak when compared to her many other excellent books. The plot had potential, but tended to drag on. It didn't help that I found obvious holes in the plot.

I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone knowledgeable about horses. There were glaring errors in details specific to horses that I found very distracting. I usually find horse-related errors in fiction, but some of these errors were fundamental to the plot so key story elements became too unrealistic for the plot to be successful for me ... even as fiction.

With better research and attention to detail regarding the horses, the plot that focused so much on horses could have been adjusted to work well. Non-horsemen wouldn't be aware of the errors and perhaps they would enjoy this book. Many other Johansen books have been keepers for me to re-read, but not this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing... April 7, 2006
By Margie
Format:Hardcover
I started this book at least three times before I was able to get past the second chapter. I should have known better than to pick up a book where horses play a key role in the plot; few authors get it right when it comes to them. When we meet Grace, she's schooling her daughter and horse over jumps in preparation for an upcoming horse show. The jumps, however, are referred to as "barriers". While I'm far from an expert on the sport, I have been around hunters and jumpers for several years and I have never, ever heard of a jump referred to as a "barrier". They're called jumps, fences, obstacles, verticals, oxers, etc... but not "barriers". So that really put me off. Nor did I find Frankie a very believable eight year old. Much too adult even for a kid who's supposed to be very precocious. And why was the CIA keeping an eye on Grace? That made no sense to me at all. The horses at the center of the story, the Pair, were given characteristics that were far too human. Normally, I can look past plot contrivances and simply enjoy the read. I was unable to do that with this book, however. I cannot recommend it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So unbelievable dull.... and annoying October 22, 2006
Format:Hardcover
I will usually read and accept anything, but this book is just so beyond fact for even realistic fiction. I could have handled this book a lot better if there was no "Frankie". The character Frankie is just too unbelievable. I work with "talented and gifted" children that are Frankie's age (8 years old) and not one of them is even remotely this advvanced. If Frankie was say, 12 or 13 I could accept her maturity, her dedication to her music and so forth, but this is not even believable to anyone who has a child or works with them. It would be tolerable if Frankie was not the center of the book. They spend more time about Frankie this and Frakie that, then on the main plot of the book. This is the 3rd book that I have read or at least tried to read from Iris Johansen and it will be my last. I just don't like the way she writes or her main characters. Evertime I buy another one of her books I am always hoping that this will be the one that changes my mind. Oh well, another book to donate.
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More About the Author

Iris Johansen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pandora's Daughter, Stalemate, Killer Dreams, On the Run, and many more. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia.

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