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If my memory serves me right, this was the first novel I’ve ever read in the thriller genre. I’m really hesitant to read the said theme for I might end up reading something political which is not my cup of tea (though in an odd way I love to read anything about war). Anyway, Run the Risk tells about Lieutenant Alex Delillo, L.A. police department homicide squad who investigates the killing of a local florist. Together with her partner, they arrive at the scene. And unfortunately, the door is full of explosives which send Alex’s partner to the hospital luckily spares him alive.

After that stressful event, Alex’s teenage daughter Lacy sends every audience (of the beauty pageant she’s into) running when she suddenly shows two cylinders which she announces to everyone that it contain poisons. Alex’s partner is immediately replaced by a detective who specializes in bombs which is a lot more help since the situation requires his abilities. After this, Lacy suddenly goes missing and learned that she was kidnapped when they searched the home of one of the employee of the florist. These events lead the lieutenant to search for her missing daughter in whom she surely knows will also lead her to the prime suspect.

The novel’s realistic narrative draws the reader’s to read further. I remember myself reading at the wee hours of the morning promising myself just one more chapter and end up reading a couple more. Awaiting for the killer’s next action and hoping for Alex’s salvation. I give much more sympathy with the protagonist than with her kidnapped daughter because the author doesn’t give us something to like about her. It’s ironic to feel ‘hah! It serves you right to be kidnapped!’ since we can only remember her tantrum at the pageant and nothing else.

Although the ending is a bit unresolved (which teases the reader for an obvious sequel) and questions that the conclusion doesn’t provide, the novel is still a decently written and a thought-provoking suspenseful thriller.

The novel was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best First Mystery/Crime novel in 2005.

Recommended? Yes, for all you thriller fans.

Opening Sequence: The auditorium had the strong perfume scent of too many roses, like the hospital room of an accident victim.

Ending Sentence: “I see everything,” I said softly.

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