About a month or so ago, TK sent me an advance copy of "Running from the Devil" by Jamie Freveletti. Ms. Freveletti has an interesting background. She is a trial attorney, martial artist, and runner. She has crewed for an elite ultra-marathon runner at 50 mile, 100 mile, and twenty-four hour races across the country, and both practices and teaches Aikido.
I love a good thriller. Some of my favorite authors include, Daniel Silva, Brad Thor, Steve Berry, and Brian Haig so it goes without saying that I couldn't wait pick up Ms. Freveletti's debut novel. The book starts out with Emma Caldridge, a chemist at a Miami cosmetics company. Emma is on her to Bogota, Columbia to research a new plant for a potential product when her plane is hijacked and crashes into the Columbian Jungle. Emma is thrown far enough far the crash site to go undiscovered by the guerillas who take the survivors of the crash hostage. I don't want to give away too much of the book, but what ensues for the duration of the book is Emma, and eventually Cameron Sumner, a secret government agent, following the hostages and helping to secure their rescue. Like any good thriller, there is a consipiracy involving something Emma has in her possession that other people want.
Here are my thoughts on the book: for a debut novel, I liked it a lot. Like the authors I mentioned above, "Running from the Devil" had its share of high tech weaponry, covert missions, and conspiracies. What I loved was Emma was able to use her training as an endurance athlete and chemist to survive in the jungle. In fact she reminded me of McGyver who was able to survive and get out of trouble with a roll of duct tape. Emma uses her training as a chemist to nourish herself and to nurse Sumner back to health. One of my favorite parts was when Emma, covered in mud to fend off mosquitoes, had an encounter with the guerrillas. The guerrillas were scared off because they thought Emma was "El Chupacabra" which with the Latin American equivalent of big foot.
Now for my dislikes....there were parts of the book that read like a school kid wrote them. Also the way Emma and Sumner escape the their encounters with the guerrillas is very repitious. They get captured, take advantage of a small opportunity, and make a run for it. I also found it hard to believe that the guerrillas could figure out where in the jungle Emma and Sumner were hiding.
All in all, "Running from the Devil" is a solid debut novel. It has its flaws but it also had many good points as well. "Running from the Devil" is now available at your favorite bookstore. Hopefully her 2nd novel novel will feature Emma Caldridge was well. I'm a huge fan of books that feature a recurring character.