Review: You Can Run by Karen Cleveland

Title: You Can Run by Karen Cleveland
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


A CIA analyst makes a split-second decision that endangers her country but saves her son—and now she must team up with an investigative journalist she’s not sure she can trust in this electrifying thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know.

We have your son. It’s the call that’s every parent’s nightmare. And for CIA analyst Jill Bailey, it’s the call that changes everything.

It’s Jill’s job to vet new CIA sources. Like Falcon, who’s been on the recruitment fast track. But before she can get to work, Jill gets the call. Her son has been taken. And to get him back, Jill does something she thought she’d never do.

Alex Charles, a hard-hitting journalist, begins to investigate an anonymous tip: an explosive claim about the CIA’s hottest new source. This is the story that Alex has been waiting for. The tip—and a fierce determination to find the truth—leads Alex to Jill, who would rather remain hidden.

As the two begin to work together, they uncover a vast conspiracy that will force them to confront their loyalties to family and country. An edge-of-your-seat thriller, You Can Run will have you asking: What would you do to save the ones you love?


You Can Run by Karen Cleveland is a breathless, action-packed thriller.

CIA analyst Jill Bailey is having an ordinary day at work until a shocking phone call alters her and her husband Drew’s lives. Since returning to work from maternity leave, Jill’s lunch hour coincides with their baby Owen’s feeding time, so she watches him on the day care cam. On this day, she is confused that Owen is not on any of the cameras. The reason becomes stunningly clear when she receives a phone call with a demand in exchange for the safe return of her son. Willing to do anything to save Owen, Jill does as she is told. Within a matter of days, she quits her job and convinces Drew it is time for them to move. But her hopes of escaping the people who took her son are soon dashed. However, over the next several years, Jill and Drew have a wonderfully normal life. That is until the day she realizes someone is watching her. And her fears drive her to team up with journalist Alex Charles in an attempt to understand the full spectrum of her actions that fateful day.

Jill is so frightened by what happened to Owen that she has never revealed to anyone a single word about his kidnapping and what she did in order to get him back. When Alex mentions Falcon, the asset Jill approved in exchange for Owen’s return, she knows it is time to uncover the truth. Fearing for her family’s safety, Jill finally comes clean with Drew, who is understandably furious with her. While she sends Drew off with their children, Jill returns to DC and confronts Alex in order to understand what the journalist knows. Knowing time is of the essence, Alex and Jill begin their search for Falcon and the people who are involved in what turns out to be a horrifying conspiracy.

You Can Run is an absolutely riveting thriller with an outstanding storyline. Jill and Owen are brilliantly developed characters that are easy to cheer on as they find out the truth about Falcon. Fully realizing how dangerous their endeavor is, they nonetheless pursue every lead they unearth. The trail takes them to an undeniably disturbing plot with far-reaching implications. With astonishing twists and non-stop action, Karen Cleveland brings this pulse-pounding thriller to a jaw-dropping conclusion.

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Filed under Ballantine Books, Contemporary, Karen Cleveland, Rated B+, Review, Thriller

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