By Mary Haley
Reader Book Reviewer
I review children’s and young adult books, so when Sandy Compton lent me his new Archer MacClehan book, the second in the series, I struggled with how to classify it. The title character is an adult, but there is a smart teen in it, too. Who cares! “The Girl Who Wouldn’t Stop Running” is a fast-paced outdoor adventure that an older teen will love.
The book has three main characters. Opal is 13 and living through her parents’ messy divorce. She has been sucked into the blame-game of her parents and seeks solace with a mysterious texting friend. This individual uses the friendship to have Opal kidnapped while on a hiking trip. Once captured, Opal uses her smarts and courage to survive and escape. Geologist Sara Cafferty and pilot Archer MacClehan are recruited to outsmart the kidnappers and save her.
The desert backcountry setting is critical to the plot and part of the fun of this read. If you have camped in southern Utah or Arizona you will recognize the landscape. If you haven’t, you will want to book your trip.
What makes this book different is Compton’s western, no-nonsense style that is heavy on the foreshadowing, yet still yields surprises. Fans of “MacGyver” or psychological thrillers will like this book. It is an adult reading level, but at 200 pages, the book is a good transition into adult literature. The vivid western survival elements will appeal to boys, but the main teen is a smart girl. The book doesn’t have sex, but lots of tension between Sara and Archer.
To call Sandy Compton a local writer is like saying lake Pend Oreille is a local lake. He is the owner and operator of Blue Creek Publishing and has been writing in and about North Idaho and Montana for decades. His 11 books are not the only excellent books to fill Blue Creek’s library. You will find “The Girl Who Wouldn’t Stop Running” at our local bookstores and on line.
Mary Haley is a local author of the grade school fiction and author of “The Great Potato Murder.” For more book reviews visit her on her blog, ghostwriterreviews.blogspot.com