Author: Parker Williams
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
At a Glance: Runner is a first time read for me from Parker Williams. It’s a well written novel with an in-depth look into each characters’ personality and feelings.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.
He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence—
But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos and he must make the hardest decision of his life.
Review: Matt Bowers had a traumatic experience at sixteen. PTSD and OCD has led him to cut off everyone in his life, and despite the aid of a psychiatrist, he needs to be alone. His mother and brother wanted him to be ‘normal’ again, but their repeated attempts at help only drove him further away. So, with the settlement from the neglectful school district, he buys a secluded cabin and lives a life of solitude. Whenever Matt’s structured life gets off track, he turns to his possessions—with touch he can feel grounded. His books, gardening, fishing and canning bring him peace, but he’s without a real connection to people.
Matt’s PTSD and OCD take over when he sees a runner on ‘his’ road. He makes a rare call to the sheriff, his younger brother, Clay. Matt wants the runner gone, so Clay tries to make him understand that he can’t stop a person from using a public road. And he challenges Matt to at least find out the runner’s name, who becomes part of Matt’s routine as he starts to watch for him every day.
Charlie Carver is an accomplished author of a gay mystery series. When he and Matt get more acquainted, he brings a set of the series to Matt as a gift. Matt can’t get enough of this great series, or Charlie. Charlie, lemonade, and murder mysteries become part of the structure in Matt’s everyday life. Then, when Charlie doesn’t make his run at the normal time, Matt’s world starts to crack. He calls Clay and gets some devastating news, and then has to make one of the hardest decisions in his life.
But in trying to help Matt, people make mistakes. Will this set Matt back after the progress he’s made with Charlie’s help?
Runner is a first time read for me from Parker Williams. It’s a well written novel with an in-depth look into each characters’ personality and feelings. The author did put a different spin on the PTSD and OCD combination, and he gives a clear view to readers of how it ruined the connection between Matt, his mother and brother.
I really liked the relationship that grew between Matt and Charlie. Charlie accepted Matt and his issues, and worked to understand how to fit into Matt’s world. Charlie also learns a lesson about real love with Matt, and Charlie helps Matt learn how to make gradual changes in his life. This was a definite switch from what I usually read, but it held my interest and I enjoyed it.
You can buy Runner here: