From the back of the book:
After a nine-year absence, the fiercely resourceful Native American guide Jane Whitefield is back, in the latest superb thriller by award-winning author Thomas Perry.
For more than a decade, Jane pursued her unusual profession: "I'm a guide . . . I show people how to go from places where somebody is trying to kill them to other places where nobody is." Then she promised her husband she would never work again, and settled in to live a happy, quiet life as Jane McKinnon, the wife of a surgeon in Amherst, New York. But when a bomb goes off in the middle of a hospital fundraiser, Jane finds herself face to face with the cause of the explosion: a young pregnant girl who has been tracked across the country by a team of hired hunters. That night, regardless of what she wants or the vow she's made to her husband, Jane must come back to transform one more victim into a runner. And her quest for safety sets in motion a mission that will be a rescue operation—or a chance for revenge.
Despite being the fifth book in the series, RUNNER is new reader friendly, which is something I tend to look for in series books where I'm jumping in post that first installment. Everything that attracted me to RUNNER lent itself towards reading like a standalone and author Thomas Perry didn't fail to disappoint, mixing enough back story with the present-day setting to provide a well rounded account of protagonist Jane McKinnon and her past exploits.
One of the major hurdles I found in reading RUNNER was the overly descriptive nature of the travel sequences to and from destinations, which in some instances took double digit pages without really progressing the story - some editing on this front would've made the story all the more enjoying and free flowing.
Yet, whilst there are moments of padding it didn't make me want to put the book down. I love the multiple angles and switch in perspective from Jane and the runaway to those who were looking to do them both harm.
A big plus was the natural evolution of the plot from runaway survival suspense to vengeful tale of redemption and action. A nicely done transition that really progressed the story and added another element to an already entertaining read.
RUNNER works for me as a standalone but I don't think I'll be chasing down other books in the series.