Run Run Run
Gingerbread Man Episode One
A Nursery Rhyme Suspense
Lee Strauss, December 2014
From the author—
College girl meets boy online.
A killer targets girls like her.
She’s next on the list.
The boy wants to save her.
She thinks it’s him.
It’s worse than they both think.
Teagan and Sage have been best friends forever and now they’re college roommates. Their friendship has withstood their very different personalities but the freewheeling college atmosphere is adding more than a little stress to Teagan’s life. Shy and insecure, she is drawn to the world of chat rooms because they’re safe. After all, she may never actually meet the guy she’s talking to so Marlow seems to be the ideal “date”.
When a rape occurs on campus, Teagan begins to think something is not quite right about Marlow. Is she overthinking things? Perhaps, but then a second rape occurs and this time it’s worse. Imagine, then, the fear when Teagan realizes that she may be a target. Both Teagan and Marlowe are even more puzzled by the weirdness that’s happening in their online and face-to-face relationship, with a hint that something more than what we consider normal may be happening.
Multiple points of view can be irritating but they work very well in this case, adding to the confusion of just who each of the four narrators (Teagan, Marlow, Sage and the rapist) might be. From one chapter to the next, I was baffled by what the truth might ultimately turn out to be. I was also baffled by a couple of plot points. First, I don’t understand why Teagan would be so shocked, in today’s college world, that rape can happen. She behaves as though such a thing has never happened before and most especially not at Detroit University. Detroit? There aren’t many cities that have a higher crime rate so her reaction is just not rational. The other thing that had me shaking my head was Teagan’s mother asking her to meet at a coffee shop across campus after dark. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t question that but the mother has come to the campus because she’s afraid for Teagan to travel home alone for the holidays. Why would she expose her daughter to the dangers of crossing the campus alone at night?
After a massive cliffhanger, I’m just going to have to wait but, having read other books by Ms. Strauss, I have no doubt answers will come in the next two books. A lot has been packed into this novella and I’m sure a lot more is coming.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, January 2015.