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On the Run
Author: Lorena McCourtney
Publisher: Revell
Pages: 320
Release Date:  January 2006
On the Run by Lorena McCourtney revisits the active imagination and equally active life of Ivy Malone a cross between Miss Marple and Angela Lansbury's character Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote. Being an ingénue to this the third in the series of Ivy Malone novels, I was puzzled by the mystery endorsement when I first started reading the book. It seemed much more like a story centered about a quirky and delusional senior citizen. However, I couldn't have been more wrong.
_On the Run_ combines the best elements of quirky humor, mystery and subtle comments about faith. Like most good suspense novels, just when you think you have it all figured out, a new twist enters the plot. Oh, did I happen to mention two dead bodies?
Throw in a flock / herd of emus (just what do you call a gathering of these birds?) and ex Hollywood types that are now survivalists­or were before they were found dead and you have a very absurd foundation for a murder mystery. Stir into the mix a young woman named Abilene who shows up battered, bruised, and with an unexplained past. In addition, Ivy's old flame Mac shows up to fan the flames of romance, while a local police officer to takes a shine to Abilene.
Any good novelist will help you to feel that you are immersed in the action and McCourtney does not disappoint on that front. As the super sleuth team of Ivy and Abilene investigate the mysterious demise of the Northcutts your mind is flooded with possibilities. 
The author excels at painting splendid word pictures. Long before television, radio and the silver screen writers were the entertainment of the day for those fortunate enough to be literate. It was the author's responsibility to set the scene and allow you to view the action as it unfolded in your mind's eye. McCourtney brings this novel to life whether it is a description of paintball warfare, a gruesome murder scene or describing the pretentious Mikki right down to her eye liner.  
One of the more poignant examples of McCourtney's use of word pictures comes when she wrestles with the appropriate way to share her faith with young Abilene, "I figure it's better for God to trickle a message into the cracks of someone's thought processes rather than my trying to jackhammer it in."
If you have read the other novels in this series, you won't need to be coaxed to pick up this new adventure. If you are not familiar with the Ivy Malone Mystery series, I suggest you pick up a copy today. McCourtney proves that mysteries even murder mysteries can be handled with good taste and in a manner acceptable to the Christian community.
Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved

Joe Montague is an internationally published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18. All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague. 


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