I’m always interested in books from Michigan writers.
Rob Cornell is just that.
After finishing Cornell’s ‘Red Run,’ though, I have to give
him credit for being more than just a Michigan writer. He’s a gutsy writer,
‘Red Run’ is the story of single father Ethan, who is woken
one night because his teenage daughter has been found beaten and killed. Ethan’s
son, Graham, is also missing – but he eventually shows up, although he's hazy about his whereabouts.
What follows is a very visceral reaction by an immature
father that is realizing his limitations. Ethan became a father to Graham when
he was a teenager. Not learning his lesson, he became a father again a few
Over the years – which you find out through the winding
narrative – Ethan realizes his shortcomings and tries to do better by his
children. He leaves his drug addicted wife, Rain, gets a job and tries to be
the father he never had himself.
While all this is going on, suspicion starts to fall on
Graham – who was seen with his sister the night she disappeared – while Ethan
is fixated on his ex-wife’s abusive boyfriend.
The mystery at the center of ‘Red Run’ is complex. I think
what I liked best about the book was that Ethan is not an entirely likable guy.
He has faults. He makes mistakes. He doesn’t make the best decisions – even now.
On the flip side, his ex-wife Rain is really hateful. She’s
a typical drug addict who refuses to take responsibility for the decisions she
has made in her life.
Then, later, when her son’s life is on the line – she still
puts herself first.
I don’t want to go into a lot of details about ‘Red Run,’
because spoilers will hurt the central mystery. For fans of the genre, though,
this is a must read. For fans of book with a Michigan connection, this is also
a must read.
The book isn’t perfect, though. Pretending it is would be a
There are a decent amount of grammar mistakes, and there are
a handful of situations that don’t come across as believable – especially for a
guy who is supposed to be in tune with the criminal elements of the dark
Still, in the end, the outcome of the mystery will stick
with you – and the characters are memorable.
‘Red Run’ is available on Kindle for $2.99