Jane Whitefield: Runner (Book 6) by Thomas Perry

The most disappointing thing this year was when the Jane Whitefield TV series was not picked up. So when I came across it during the Borders going out of business sale, I couldn’t wait to read it. There was a ten year gap between the last Jane Whitefield book and this one, and I never thought I would have another chance to revisit the characters.

Runner turns out to be just as exciting as I remember the series being. Jane Whitefield has spent much of her life helping people in danger vanish but she has given up that life in favor of living like a regular person. And for years, she has managed to live a quiet, uninterrupted life. But when a pregnant teen shows up at her work, begging for help, Jane can’t turn her away. And in a world where helping someone disappear is more difficult than ever, Jane has to keep from being recognized by those still hunting for her old clients, compensate for the new technology and loss of old business associates, and make sure not to get caught.

Runner is an impressive because it manages to have a female lead in an action story with a solid balance: the woman is not unrealistically strong (talks specifically about how to compensate for lack of size) but does not need to rely on being overly seductive like most action movies have.

My biggest complaint is that Perry built up the idea that the young girl had secrets she was keeping but they never really materialized. As such a young character it was also frustrating to watch her be stupid–as someone so young, she should have a better idea of how technology works but teens are stupid even when they know better, so it was still believable.

It was nice to see how Jane has grown and what her struggles in life are. I look forward to seeing another book soon.

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