Book Review: Runaway by Peter May


Runaway by Peter May

Quercus Publishing (hardback), 2015

432 Pages 

I was given an advance review copy by Midas Public Relations in exchange for an honest review.  



Glasgow, 1965. Jack Mackay dares not imagine a life of predictability and routine. The headstrong seventeen-year-old has one thing on his mind – London – and successfully convinces his four friends, and fellow band mates, to join him in abandoning their home to pursue a goal of musical stardom.


Glasgow, 2015. Jack Mackay dares not look back on a life of failure and mediocrity. The heavy-hearted sixty-seven year old is still haunted by the cruel fate that befell him and his friends some fifty years before, and how he did and did not act when it mattered most –  a memory he has run from all his adult life.

London, 2015. A man lies dead in a bedsit. His killer looks on, remorseless. What started with five teenagers five decades before will now be finished.


Jack stepped down from the bus almost at the end of Battlefield Road and raised his head towards the darkening sky with a sense of foreboding. He took in the brooding silhouette of the smoke-stained Victoria Infirmary that climbed the hill above the field of battle where Mary, Queen of Scots, was once defeated by James VI, and felt as if someone had just walked over his grave.


This was my first time reading Peter May. I now have an author to add to my list of must read’s.

I loved Runaway.

I liked the way Peter May structures Runaway. The story moves back and forth between 1965 and 2015. I liked the sense of anticipation and tension this created. May gradually drip-feeds what happened to Jack and his friends in 1965 rather than revealing everything in one go. I had to keep reading Runaway to join all the dots. I love it when author’s use time shifts so effectively. Runaway kept me guessing until the end. All my guess work about what happened in 1965 was way off. I love it when a writer takes me by surprise and May does this over and over again in Runaway. I had no clue where the story was going to lead. The ending brought tears to my eyes. I enjoyed every page of Runaway. If his other novels are half as good I’m in for a treat.




2 Comments Add yours

  1. David Gilchrist says:

    Runaway Advanced reading copy.

    For me the best Peter May book to date, In places dark and intriguing. A social history. Very thought provoking and in many ways feels to be autobiographical in the writing Peter May will no doubt have left something of himself in this book. A deep well written story that shows the versatility of this author.

  2. Sharon Gilmour says:

    You are definitely going to shed more tears reading his other work! Entry Island had to be one of my favorite books of all time!

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