Book Review: See How They Run by Tom Bale

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Title - See How They Run
Author - Tom Bale
Publication Date - May 6th 2016
Publisher - Bookouture
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided by publisher via NetGalley)
Pages - 411

How far would you go to save your family?

In the dead of night, new parents Alice and Harry French are plunged into their worst nightmare when they wake up to find masked men in their bedroom. Men ruthless enough to threaten their baby daughter Evie.

This is no burglary gone wrong.
The intruders know who they're looking for - a man called Edward Renshaw.
And they are prepared to kill to get to him.

When the men leave empty handed, little do Alice and Harry realise that their nightmare is just beginning. Is it a case of mistaken identity? Who is Renshaw? And what is he hiding?

One thing is clear - they already know too much.

As Alice and Harry are separated in the run for their lives, there is no time for breathe in their fight to be reunited. And with their attackers closing, there is only a choice:


First of all, I'd like to say a huge thank you to Tom Bale and Bookouture for providing me with a review copy of See How They Run. I'd been thoroughly excited about reading this one since the cover and title were revealed over on Twitter, and since my hunger for twisting and turning thrillers is growing bigger by the day, I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into it. The blurb offered up a chilling situation and, with baited breath, I went in.

It's fair to say that Tom Bale begins See How They Run with an almighty bang. At first, I wondered whether Harry was perhaps dreaming, but it quickly became clear that the terrifying situation he, his wife and daughter had found themselves in was no nightmare they could wake up from. It was frighteningly real and sent trickles of unease down my spine. Beginning this story in such a way ensured I kept reading, despite the time which was something past midnight, rather than putting it down. I wanted to see how the situation would end, if it would end at all for that matter. Tom Bale had placed his characters into an unthinkable situation and with their baby daughter Evie added to the mix, it just made everything a million times worse for them. I was scared for them. I'm not ashamed to admit it. Fiction or not, I honestly have no idea how I would have reacted in such circumstances, and could only hope that they'd wake up the next morning to find out it had in fact been a dream. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Fortunately, such a dramatic and tense beginning to this novel only paved the way to what would turn out to be a pacy, gut-clenching and thrilling book.

Alongside the taut and tense chapters where I was intently aware of time ticking by, Tom Bale developed his characters fantastically. Behind them, the author began to build up their history which made them seem all the more real to me as the reader. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Harry and Alice's joint past, and the brief scenes of domesticity, before things really took a turn for the worst, added much more depth to the couple too. For me, this also made their later separation all the more frightful as they just felt so together, and certainly notched up the terror metre a peg or two.

Tom Bale adds some truly intimidating characters to the plot of See How They Run, and it didn't take long at all for me to take note of how nasty these strangers could be, how ruthless they were willing to be in order to get the questions to their answers. Indeed, in only the first couple of chapters, there were scenes included which had me reeling and it was this which made me realise just how dangerous the situation truly was. 

As the novel progressed, I found myself being dragged deeper and deeper into the horrific mess that Bale's characters had somehow managed to find themselves in. When circumstances began to get serious, and Harry and Alice splintered into their separate pursuits, I couldn't race through the pages quickly enough. The pace certainly picked up here and I was desperate to see where both characters would end up. I also thoroughly enjoyed Bale's switching between Alice and Harry, as this allowed me an insight into what each of them were up to while away from each other in completely unique scenarios. With baby Evie by her side, I desperately wanted Alice to come to no harm, and by the end of the book, after the trials that the French family had been through, I was left gasping for breath. It was a whirlwind, an engaging, action-packed novel with a thrilling sense of danger weaved right the way through, pulling me ever-closer to the end.

All in all, a fantastically-written, atmospheric novel that has left me looking forward to more from Tom Bale. This is an author who certainly knows how to reel in the reader and leave them desperate for more, and I will be keeping me eyes open for news of his next novel! Becca's Books is awarding See How They Run by Tom Bale with four bookish stars. Packed with not only enough action and suspense to make your head spin but with emotion and love too. A story about how far a father and mother will go in order to protect their family.


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