Reviewed on 23rd July 2021

Running out of Road by Cath Staincliffe

Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Suspense / Thriller
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Running out of Road by Cath Staincliffe Synopsis

A missing schoolgirl, a middle-aged recluse, an exploited teenager. Lives thrown into chaos and set on collision course. With the police in hot pursuit.
Scarlett is dancing in the school talent show tomorrow. Except Scarlett doesn’t make it home from school. She’s abducted by a man she never imagined she’d see again. A man on the police’s most wanted list. Her dad.
Ron has made a living as a house sitter since quitting his career on the front line in the fire service. He’s currently looking after a place deep in the Derbyshire Peaks. The solitude suits him.
Dylan’s a ‘cuckoo’, dealing drugs on the county line, moving from nest to nest, picking out people who daren’t say no. Keeping his head down, one step ahead of the law. So far. But now everything’s falling apart.
DS Laura O’Neil is running on empty after nights dealing with her teething toddler. But Laura is driving the hunt for Scarlett and knows that every minute counts. Any delay, any mistake might cost Scarlett her life.
A race against time, played out in the brooding wilderness, the limestone gorges and gritstone edges of the Peak District.

Running out of Road by Cath Staincliffe Review

A Tense, Terrifying, and Fast-Paced Thriller

I am embarrassed to say that this is the first Cath Staincliffe novel I have read, but when I was offered the chance to read and review this book for the blog tour, I jumped at the chance. Not because I knew what to expect, but because the blurb totally drew me in.


About the Author
Cath Staincliffe is a best-selling, award-winning novelist, radio playwright and the creator of ITV’s hit series, Blue Murder, starring Caroline Quentin as DCI Janine Lewis. Cath’s books have been short-listed for the British Crime Writers Association best first novel award, for the Dagger in the Library twice and twice for the Short Story Dagger, winning in 2012. Her recent stand-alone novels examine the impact of crime on ordinary families. Cath was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, UK and now lives in Manchester, Lancashire with her family. You can follow her on Twitter, @CathStaincliffe, where she hangs about when she should be busy writing!


I knew I would be sitting on the shores of the lakes in Italy while reading this book, I was desperate for a book that would transport me somewhere different and truly immerse me in another world. I wanted to be thrilled. I wanted something that would have my heart pumping. Thank god Tracy at Compulsive Readers sent me this to review because it was exactly what I was looking for.

It’s every mother’s nightmare, isn’t it? To be waiting for your child to come home from school and her not arrive? Imagine if that child was your granddaughter, under your care after losing her mother. It’s your job to care and protect her from anything that may happen, and poor Scarlett has been through more than most in her young life.

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But, one fateful day, the one person they all hope never to see again turns up in their life and Scarlett must do everything she can to survive and get back to her nana.

The lives of so many different people get tangled up in Scarlett’s story, with characters who really come to life on the page, but more than that… the area itself comes to life. One of the aspects of Staincliffe’s writing that really gripped me was her description of the surroundings. The Peak District came to life on the page and darkened the story perfectly.

I can’t begin to explain how much I felt these characters come to life. Scarlett is a well-rounded, beautiful, and captivating young girl – with fight, determination, and a whole lot of love in her heart. Her father on the other hand is the most vile character I have come across in recent years and having these two stand side by side on the page just makes you flip the pages quicker.

Ron, however, is one of my favourite characters. He is so real, raw, and broken. He is written in the most honest but terrifying way. Each and every character on the page keeps you guessing, and you root for them all in totally different ways – not a single word or emotion is wasted on the page.

You can see now why I am slightly embarrassed to say that this is the first of her books that I have read. After this rollercoaster of a ride, I can’t wait to dig into her backlist.

If you are looking for a thriller that will keep you emotionally invested, with your heart racing while you follow the characters through the incredible peaks of Darbyshire just a step behind them the whole way… my god this is the book for you. Settle down, you’re in for a bumpy ride… but one you will want to finish in one sitting.

Many Thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers for inviting us on this Blog Tour.

Running out of Road is published by: Little Brown Book Group
ISBN:997-8147213-212-3

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