Review of Douglas E. Winter’s Thrilling Novel, Run
If you’re in the market for a good thriller, the kind that you don’t put down, the kind that releases its grip on you once it’s through, look no further. Run grabbed my attention with its opening sentence and I found myself slipping into that helpless, blissful state of complete submission to the book, confident I was in the hands of a master storyteller.
I chose to review this book primarily because none of my friends had heard of it, despite its New York Times-bestseller status and cover, which is decorated with blurbs from literary illuminati as they gasp for superlatives in attempts to describe the story’s pace, which is breathless, to be sure. This is Winter’s debut novel (having previously collaborated with Clive Barker), and we are in the presence of an exciting new talent. The novel is told from the first-person perspective of Burdon Lane, an arms dealer of the less-than-legal variety, who finds himself in a classic noir predicament where the only person he can trust is himself, and only then when he’s sober. I won’t reveal any details of the labyrinth plot, which contains enough double-crosses to confuse Raymond Chandler, but suffice to say all is not what it seems.
Familiar and yet fresh, classic but somehow inimitable, Winter’s words roll down the page with all the grace of Kerouac stream-of-consciousness spiked with Palahniuk-worthy sound bites and combined with the Coen brothers’ or Elmore Leonard’s ear for realistic rhythms of speech. Upon initial reading, the exchanges between characters sound...