Book Review: See How They Run, by Tom Bale

Publisher:  Bookouture   |   E Book Publication date: 6th May 2016

See How They Run My Review

See How They Run - Tom BaleThe frenetic lifestyle of a young couple with a new baby already leaves this young family on the cusp of reality, until one innocent evening sees Harry, Alice and Evie French being catapulted into the stuff of nightmares.

The baby is sleeping soundly for once. So is the exhausted wife. But there’s this nagging doubt that the tired animator’s mind can’t place. Before he can question whether he should haul is body out of bed and bother to investigate, he finds himself blinking at a nonchalant man in a mask, who is confidently filling the frame of his bedroom door.

Unsure if his sleep-deprived mind is playing tricks, it dawns on Harry that everyone he loves is in this room and he is powerless to protect them.

The intruder invites his colleagues into the room and announces he wants something other than the TV and the contents of his wife’s handbag, so where is it, what have they done with it, and why aren’t they co-operating given the severity of the situation? The family are rubbing their eyes thinking ‘what they hell are you on about?’ as they can’t remember what they had for breakfast.

After the couple receive horrific threats to their person, including their eight week old baby (who should get a part in the next Die Hard movie, no trouble), despite being unable to meet “the mask’s” demands, or tell them the whereabouts of a mysterious man called Renshaw, they are subjected to a sickening ordeal, and still their attackers are insistent. But it’s Catch 22 – the little trio of innocents haven’t got the foggiest idea.

Being gripped by fear they try not to say anything to antagonise the situation, which is keeping them alive – for now. They are instructed not to contact the police, to keep everything looking ‘normal’ and they will be visit them again.

As there’s no manual to tell you what to do when you find blokes without a soul terrorising your family in the middle of the night, the animator with deadlines coming out of his ears goes to work and keeps up appearances. What follows are a series of catastrophes of gigantic proportion. Back at home his wife isn’t fairing much better. Clandestine meetings, separation of their family unit, and a chase involving a mother armed only with a papoose creates a tension that could ordinarily rip anyone apart under similar circumstances.

Unwittingly, their naivety is their advantage – they walk into situations without fully appreciating the consequences, which results in them pretty much winging it when their backs are against the wall. There’s no over the top heroics, just a normal people bumbling from one disastrous encounter to the next, and it’s not even something they have the solution or the skills to resolve.

Often without a phone, the slightest clue, or even each other, See How They Run isn’t simply a game of cat and mouse, it’s a ravenous pride of lions encircling a trembling family of gazelles. It’s epically suspenseful and has an unpredictable, twisted complexity so you never know who to trust throughout.

Rating: 5/5

(My thanks to Bookouture and Keshini Naidoo for providing an advanced digital copy of this book for review.)

See How They Run Book Summary

In the dead of night, new parents Alice and Harry French are plunged into their worst nightmare when they wake to find masked men in their bedroom. Men ruthless enough to threaten their baby daughter, Evie.

This is no burglary gone wrong.
The intruders know who they’re looking for – a man called Edward Renshaw.
And they are prepared to kill to get to him.

When the men leave empty handed, little do Alice and Harry realise that their nightmare is just beginning. Is it a case of mistaken identity? Who is Renshaw? And what is he hiding?

One thing is clear – they already know too much.

As Alice and Harry are separated in the run for their lives, there is no time for breathe in their fight to be reunited. And with their attackers closing in, there is only a choice:


Terrifying, unputdownable and full of twists and turns, this stunning thriller will have you on the edge of your seat right to the very last page.


See How They Run Author Profile

Tom Bale has had a variety of jobs including retail assistant, claims negotiator and project manager, but none was as exhausting as the several years he spent as a househusband with two pre-school children. Tom has been writing since the age of seven, and completed his first novel at fifteen. After twenty years and hundreds of rejection slips, his first novel SINS OF THE FATHER was published under his real name, David Harrison. With his next book, SKIN AND BONES, he acquired an agent, a pseudonym and a book deal that enabled him to write full time. He lives in Brighton with his family. Visit his website at, follow him on Facebook, or on Twitter: @t0mbale (zero instead of “o”).




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