Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Ten great fugitive stories that master survival and suspense

Lou Berney is the author of November Road and three previous novels, Gutshot Straight, Whiplash River, and multiple prize-winning The Long and Faraway Gone.

At CrimeReads he tagged ten top stories about characters on the run, including:
The Passenger, by Lisa Lutz
(Remember: Life on the run is hard)

This terrific contemporary thriller has a simple premise: a woman’s husband dies and she goes on the run. Well, all right, it’s not the simple. The woman didn’t kill her husband, but has lots—and lots—of secrets. She has to go on the run.

One of the things that makes The Passenger so good—in addition to Lutz’s prose, her feel for character, the twisting plot—is the attention to detail, the authenticity, the grit and the grind. The main character, Tanya, doesn’t have any special skills or connections or resources that will make her escape easier.

In this novel, there’s nothing glamorous about life on the run. Tanya, flees to Nebraska and then to Austin and Wyoming and upstate New York. She’s not, in other words, sipping cocktails and watching the sunset in Venice. She’s dyeing her hair in motel bathrooms and laboring with a razor blade over a fake passport that she hopes will pass muster at a Western Union office.

This, you think as you read The Passenger—the tedium and the dread—is what trying to disappear would really, truly feel like.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue