My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - < 1 day
Pages - 384
Publisher - Pan Macmillan
Source - Netgalley & bought
Blurb from Goodreads
Set in Manchester, Running Scared is a nerve-shredding thriller by bestselling author Mandasue Heller.
When Alexis ‘Lexi’ James falls out with her best mate Nicole over ‘bad boy’ Ryan King, it’s just the beginning of a chain of events that go from bad to worse to deadly.
Returning home one night to her high-rise flat, she is faced by a terrifying scene that changes her life forever and matters are made worse when she is put into care in another town.
Years later, Lexi has left school and is back in Manchester. A chance meeting with Nicole and her so-called ‘other half’ Ryan ends in disaster and she vows never to see them again. Then one night she is saved from a vicious attack by a charming stranger. He takes her home and their acquaintance blossoms into something much deeper.
When her new man receives a call in the middle of the night and leaves in a hurry, she is horrified when he returns with someone she never thought she would see again. It soon becomes obvious that Lexi doesn’t know her new lover as well as she thought, and she is forced to make a decision that will have devastating results . . .
It has been a wee while since I read Heller and I forgot how much I enjoy her writing. She creates some real unsavoury characters, some we root for and can still get exasperated but some of their choices and behaviours. Meet Lexi, poor, estate kid, best pal has now got money, isn't a very nice individual and her home life brings its own challenges. When she has a chance to stay out, be with her friend and just enjoy a party.............everything changes!
The story spans over ten years, the first part is meeting the characters and then we flip forward to ten years later. Oooft guys, we see some really reprehensive behaviour, shady/dark sides of humanity, abuse, intimidation, SA, abuse of power/authority, drugs, violence, murder - it has a whole whack of everything.
Even when things get really dark you struggle to put it down, how can people be like this and you get the WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!? for some people's life choices/decisions, why, NO don't do that, OMG, AHHHHHHH. I read this in less a day, sometimes you just want to step outside your own world/drama just for a little while, Heller gives you that opportunity to immerse in some shady underworld style characters, 4.5/5 for me!