Book Review: If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock
Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin
If I’m Found, Terri Blackstock’s second book in the If I Run series, is out and continues the story of Casey Cox’s escape from capture by those who have no interest in seeing her jailed for a crime she didn’t commit. They want her dead.
Dylan Roberts is a former soldier dealing with PTSD. He’s also a private investigator, hoping to get on with the Shreveport, Louisiana police department. Dylan is hired by the parents of the victim—a friend of both Dylan and Casey—to help the police track down and capture Casey. After communicating with her and digging into the evidence, he’s convinced she’s being set up … and he knows who’s doing it.
I’m not generally one to prefer first-person, present-tense narrative, but when swept up in an absorbing story with characters to root for, it fades into the background. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, If I Run (see my review here), so it was a no-brainer to pick up the second novel. If I’m Found starts right where the first book ended, almost as though the whole story was written, then sliced up into sections, which leads me to my one issue….
As a writer, I understand not wanting to include a backstory dump. However, with the length of time between the release of the two books (and several novel reads in between), I found myself struggling to remember the details of the first story. I would have liked a little more of that backstory—the key points—in the first couple chapters to become more grounded in the story, rather than dribbled out a tiny bit at a time throughout the book.
That said, the characters are appealing and sympathetic—Casey’s compassionate willingness to risk her safety for the welfare of someone else and Dylan’s drive to save a woman he’s never met from injustice and certain death. The villains are nasty and, at one point in the story, their deeds produced a heartbreaking result. As for the faith element, Casey must realize that her only true escape is found in running straight to God.
If you haven’t read the first book, grab it, then pick up If I’m Found. But do NOT read them out of order! 🙂
How do you feel about a series involving a continuing story with one or two main characters? Do you prefer a series of stand-alone novels? With a continuing series, do you prefer to wait until all the books have released before reading them?
Right now I can barely read a book to the end, let alone read continuances. I lose interest between books, so I prefer a series of stand-alones with related characters. I’m with you on needing a little grounding in the beginning. Great review, as always. Awesome cover!
I generally prefer stand-alones too. There is too much time between books to keep the details in mind. Sometimes, we need a reading break. It’ll come back! The important thing is for you to WRITE them! 🙂 Thanks, Tori!
I like stand-alones. I admit I also lose interest in some books. I may read one and not read the rest in the series. Or it may take months to get back to the series and by then I’ve forgotten what the first book was about. 🙁 I agree with you, Sandra, about needing backstory. Nothing worse than trying to fill in the blanks.
Exactly, Gail. It’s hard to remember details when a year has passed and you’ve read so many books in between. 🙂