Kate Summers needed to leave Boston. Her husband and daughter both perished in a car accident. She notified her boss of her decision, and on her final day of work, he proposed that she adopt a newborn boy. Kate listened to his reasoning and agreed to follow his advice.
That was 15 years ago.
Now residing in the private countryside in Oregon, Kate and her son Jon struggle with her fear that his biological family will come claim him, and also with his gift: visions and dreams that come true. These gifts of sight have alienated the boy and left him a loner.
Kate's life takes a romantic turn with the arrival of Daegan O'Rourke, who moves in next door to her and Jon. Instantly likable, he and Kate begin falling in love. Soon, however, Kate starts to suspect that Daegan is not telling her the truth and that he is harboring an ulterior motive --- one that involves Jon.
Jon has his own doubts about Daegan, and with his gift he sees into the man's past. Despite the revelations, Jon can't help but like Daegan. Yet a horrific legacy of lies and deceit come to the fore when Jon disappears, and Kate and Daegan must return to Boston to set things right.
With RUNNING SCARED, Lisa Jackson delivers a page-turning thriller that may seem familiar to longtime readers of her work. That would be understandable, as it is a rewrite of a previously released novel, WISHES. Jackson explains that she was asked to do this for the book’s reissue, and though she enjoyed the original, she was excited to "ramp up the suspense." Though the core story remains, some scenes have been added and others deleted, and she says that there is "deeper insight into the characters."
Each of the major players in RUNNING SCARED is interesting in various ways, perhaps none more than Jon, considering the burden of his power and the information he can glean from a simple handshake. Mix in the dysfunction of the Sullivan family, and the web of suffering and anguish that surrounds them, and you end up with a taut thriller. Fans of Jackson's other works will certainly be pleased with RUNNING SCARED, which is likely far superior to its previous incarnation.
Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard on August 1, 2010