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The Runner by Stephen Leather

If you’re looking for a heart-stopping thriller, then the latest from the United Kingdom’s thriller writer, Stephen Leather is hard to resist.

Meet Sally Page, a junior MI5 Secret Service Agent who maintains legends used by fellow agents. Sally spends her days managing flats and houses where legends supposedly live. She maintains their digital footprint by shopping online, using travel cards and curating their social media. She is responsible for literally anything that gives the impression the legends are real individuals, not fake identities.

One morning, she leaves the safe house that doubles as her workplace on a seemingly innocent coffee run. She returns to find her entire team of colleagues murdered and barely escapes with her own life. Within moments, Sally is literally on the run herself. On the run from who? She’s not entirely sure and her MI5 superiors seem powerless to help. To survive and uncover the truth, Sally will have to use the legends she has carefully created.

Having lived in London for several years, Stephen quickly transported me back as a reader. He also creates a sense of urgency with the dramatic events unfolding over 24 hours, mainly in Wimbledon, Putney, Fulham and Ealing.

Stephen Leather began his writing career as a journalist before his first novel was published in 1992. His bestsellers have been translated into 15 languages. Follow Stephen online.

Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Hodder & Stoughton, RRP $34.99