March 2015

Peter May - Runaway

"This is an extraordinary book..."

Glasgow 1965 and with the enthusiasm and confidence of youth, Jack MacKay decides to abandon school and convinces his fellow band mates that the place to go is London where they will undoubtedly make their fortunes and find fame. It is after all the swinging sixties.

Fifty years on, Jack is reviewing his life and feels a failure as none of his dreams have come true. Even his family is not a consolation. When he visits one of his old friends from the band who is dying from cancer, he finds that his old mate is determined, despite the odds, to visit London and put right some of the wrongs that happened at that time. This has been provoked by the recent brutal murder of someone they knew all that time ago. Crazily, Jack agrees to round up the remaining members of the group and they embark on a completely ridiculous quest in the very different London of 2015. Also dragged along is Jack's embittered and alienated grandson. The two strands of the story interweave and the modern day tale explains the earlier one.

Peter May is an excellent story teller who writes fluently and compellingly about fascinating characters involved in intriguing plots. 'Runaway' is no exception. The descriptions of Glasgow and London in the sixties and the present day ring particularly true to me and I felt I was back there during those heady times!

The reflection of the old men on their lives is very poignant yet the feistiness and determination that they still show is very reassuring. I'm with grandson Ricky who experiences something of a conversion as he realises that the old men have had interesting lives and are still up for a challenge.

This is an extraordinary book and well up to the standard of the popular Lewis Trilogy. This book certainly sucked me in and I was enthralled until the final page.

Reviewed by: S.D.

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