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On the Run    by Iris Johansen order for
On the Run
by Iris Johansen
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

Eight years ago Grace Archer (then Grace Stiller) ran away from her life in the CIA. Marvot, head of a criminal empire in Southern France and North Africa, had put a bounty on her head. Now he has extended his murderous hatred to her eight-year-old daughter Frankie. Marvot has located Grace and caused the death of a beloved friend. Who can she trust now? The only possibility is Killmer, the man who caused her father's death. But can she trust him with Frankie?

Grace knew Marvot would find her and tried to be ready. It happened early one rainy morning when her farm house erupted in gun fire. Grace had to run with Frankie, desperately trying to effect an escape from the cruelest man she has ever known.

Grace has a special gift with horses. Frankie says she can talk to them. Eight years ago, because of her gift, the CIA sent Grace into Marvot's Moroccan stronghold as a spy. They hoped that her job - to train a pair of wild horses - might lead to a secret that affects the entire free world. Grace's CIA mission failed and Marvot was so angered that he offered a bounty to bring her back to Morocco. He needed her to train the horses and discover their secret for him. For eight years, the CIA protected Grace, allowing her to raise her daughter in peace on a horse ranch in Alabama.

But a wrong word into the wrong ear, and Grace and Frankie's quiet life explodes in violence that the eight-year-old cannot understand. They must run for their lives. The CIA wants to use them as bait to catch Marvot. Feeling the CIA cannot protect them, Grace refuses. Her only resource is a man she knew and trusted until he killed her father. Can she rely on Killmer to protect her daughter or will the rogue agent hand them over to Marvot?

From Alabama to Montana to Morocco, Johansen gives page turning, edge of the chair suspense, along with tender mother-daughter moments, and insights into a woman learning to love again.

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