Cover Image: You Can Run

You Can Run

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Member Reviews

lets just say i wasn't expecting espionage! but it was a good story. keeps you on your toes & thinking what the hell is going to happen next. i saw so many great reviews, but the MC just annoyed the hell out of me. loved the ending though! 3 stars.
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This thriller is fast paced!  I  had a very hard time putting it down.

Jill works for the CIA and her husband is an attorney.  They have a young son and are adjusting to life and work with an infant.  Jill eats her lunch in her car so she can watch the video feed of Owen as he rests or plays.  One day, she can’t find him on the feed and the phone rings and her life changes forever.

Jill makes decisions that she believes will keep her family safe, but secrets are not the answer.   
Excellent third book from author Karen Cleveland.  Thank you Net Galley for the ARC
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Fun to read. But I didn't take my expectation that high because the plot is good but it is predictable. Nonetheless, it is a great read while reading at the beach, waiting for your flight and any other fill-in.
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I loved this book. It kept me hooked and had twists and turns that were both unexpected and well written. I barely put it down, just racing to figure out what was happening. I would definitely recommend to a friend.
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This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I did enjoy it.  From the beginning it’s a fast paced read and the reader is quickly drawn into the narrative.  
The story centres around two women, Jill Bailey, a CIA analyst and Alex Charles an investigative journalist. Jill’s son is kidnapped and she is faced with a stark choice.  Some years later Alex receives an anonymous tip relating to the CIA, this leads her to Jill and the ramifications of Jill’s choice follow…
It’s a decent thriller which held my interest and the different points of view work really well.  I didn’t particularly warm to the characters and for me, some of their decisions were questionable and lacked authenticity.
I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher Canelo Crime for and ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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In Karen Cleveland’s You Can Run, this adult thriller is outstanding and heart-pounding at the same time. It all started for Jill Smith, who worked for the CIA as a case operations officer, when she received a mysterious phone about her son Owen. If she didn’t put in a request to approve Falcon as a confidential source, they would take her son. When she did, they returned him to her. But that turn of events made Jill leery and wary about who’s watching her son at day care. So drastic times goes for drastic measures: she resigned from the dream job and moved to Florida with her husband Drew and her son Owen. Fast forward four years later, she never told anyone about that phone call, but she couldn’t help looking over her shoulder. Now until Alex Charles, a reporter for the newspaper, had tracked her down after she received anonymous tip about a news-breaking story. Together, they teamed up to find the truth on who’s behind the ransoming demands to publish the story and influencing fake information about a potential war. When they kidnap her children, it becomes personal for Jill and discovers the culprits which hits close to home for her and a fight for survival with an earth-shattering ending.  

This was an amazing and exciting thriller that deals with timely events that you might hear about in the news someday. It makes you second guess and question everything you hear about the media concerning “fake news” reports. I cared about Jill, who would do anything to protect her children, and would stop to nothing to get the truth and the heart of the matter. No matter what it takes, even if it might cause concern in her marriage to Drew. I also adored Alex who wanted to make her late mother proud by following her dreams to receive a Pulitizer award in journalism, even if it cost her marriage to Miles who wanted children. She learned to move and helped Jill in any way possible and also did the right thing by keeping her family out of the press and protecting her sources too.  I loved the D.C. area and the Florida locations—both places had compelling and mesmerizing scenic settings. The theme of the story is no matter what you say or do, you can’t run from your past because it would catch up to you later on.

I loved how it dealt with the timely issue of fake news and the concept of a war from an unlikely source who’s been spewing the truth. Since Karen Cleveland used to work as a CIA analyst, everything appeared realistic and matter-of-factly to read this type of thriller. I loved how she had a diverse cast with Alex being African-American, and how they make a dynamic truth-seeking duo when they teamed up with each other. I couldn’t find anything negative to say about it since this was a heart-stopping jaw-dropping thriller. I rate this book, four out of five stars for no specific reason. This is recommended to everyone who loves to  read all types of thrillers, especially those deals with spies/espionage.
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When Jill's son is abducted she, a CIA agent, makes a decision to put family over country and approve an operative without doing her due diligence.  Four years later a reporter, Alex, is given a tip that the operative isn't who they claim to be.  Alex's research and Jill's decision put them together to find the truth.  A fast paced thrill with believable strong female characters.
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You Can Run is a fast paced thriller.  Jill is a CIA analyst who finds herself in a position to make the toughest position in her life.  She thinks things are over, not understanding that things are really just beginning.

Like all of Karen Cleveland's books, You Can Run is a fast paced thriller, with unexpected twists and turns throughout.   I did not expect the ending at all, and look forward to reading her next novel.  

I definitely recommend this book.  Thank you to #NetGalley and the publisher for the free copy.  All opinions are my own.
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This was an intense thriller involving CIA analyst Jill Bailey. Jill must make a decision that will either keep her family safe or put her country in danger. Whichever decision that Jill makes will haunt her no matter how far away she runs. 
This was my first Karen Cleveland book and will not be my last. Th fact that she was previously a CIA analyst adds not only to the believability of the story but adds unknown details and nuances that more books of this type lack. There is a lot of information and detail which I appreciated. It did have some slow parts but those slow parts picked up quickly as the story progressed to the tense ending and epilogue. 

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review
#NetGalley #YouCanRun #KarenCleveland
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Right from the beginning of this Karen Cleveland book, you can't help but like Jill Bailey. If your child was threatened and you had to choose to break the law to save your baby's life, would you make the same choice Jill did? What if your decision threatens national security because you work for the CIA? What if you now have to keep this secret from your spouse? That's precisely the dilemma Jill finds herself in, so, when a reporter starts asking questions, long hidden secrets are exposed. I did enjoy this suspense/thriller, although not nearly as much as some of the author's other books because it got a little disjointed and hard to believe in an otherwise very realistic story.
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Jill is a CIA analyst that has to made a difficult decision to save her family. She then has to move her family in order to keep them safe. After being in the clear for a few years, Alex, an investigative journalist gets an anonymous tip that leads her to Jill. While the two of them start working together to uncover the vast conspiracy that they have discovered, will they be able to keep Jill's family safe?  This is a fast paced thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
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For anyone looking for a female-centered version of Tom Clancy, with CIA details and procedures seen through a woman’s experience, Karen Cleveland never disappoints. Her latest novel, You Can Run, asks the question, if you could only save one, your son or your country, which would you choose? Readers go through the agonizing Sophie’s Choice along with CIA analyst Jill Bailey, and for a while I would make her same choices. However, she does make a couple of head-scratchers, which needlessly frustrate her search to unmask whoever is trying to unmask her. She paints herself into a corner of her own making early on and gives the journalist who may be trying to help her a bit too much power. Like Cleveland’s last book, Need to Know, You Can Run is a page-turner, and the cinematic action will satisfy fans of Jason Bourne or, more accurately, Homeland’s Carrie Matheson.
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As a Mystery/Thriller addict, its usually very easy for me to find a cozy mystery to curl up with but very rare that I enjoy a novel about espionage. Karen Cleveland is clearly the exception. After the page turning thriller that Need to Know was, I had to pick up You Can Run the moment I saw it and it did not disappoint. I COULD NOT put it down. Fast paced, interesting, realistic and mind blowing. Definite read if you're into spy movies and books.
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4.5 stars.   What would you do to keep your family safe? Jill is faced with that exact question.  All she has to do is say yes on a source.  Keep your mouth shut and your kid will be safe. Jill passes on the source and immediately walks away from the CIA and secretly moves her family to Florida to start over.  She can run....but she can't hide.  Alex gets an anonymous tip to find Jill, she has the story that could rock the nation and stop a disaster.  Will Jill talk? Or will she keep her mouth shut to save her children?
You don't know the whole truth until you read the last sentence and that is my favorite kind of book. While this story does have some slower parts, when it really starts to amp up it stays that way.
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honestly, i feel like it was just kind of a mess and so much of this book just didn't make sense to me. and i feel like it was just something that i couldn't really like and some of it i just didn't really like. and i really wished i liked this book since so many people hyped this book up and i mean, i think it could have been so much better.
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You Can Run should be the next thriller you pick up!!! Unputdownable!! I've been in such a mood for intense thrillers and this absolutely delivered! Thank you to Ballantine Books and Netgalley for the advance reading copy.

Jill is a CIA analyst - since her son was born she changed from being a field agent to a desk job and it's her job to vet new CIA sources. She gets a cable about vetting a source called Falcon - but takes a break first to eat her lunch. She goes out to her car and gets a call that her baby's been taken from daycare. The anonymous voice on the phone tells her that he will be returned unharmed - if she just approves Falcon without looking into it. But if she tells anyone - ANYONE - they will know and her son will die. 

I love a story like this - that really pushes you to think about what you would do if you were put in a similar situation. I always end up landing that I am very glad I don't have a job where this would happen - and while I love reading about spies and espionage and all the intrigue involved, I would absolutely not be cut out for it to be my life.

The author - Karen Cleveland - spent 8 years as a CIA analyst, most of that time in counterterrorism. She knows what she's writing about and I always feel like it adds an extra layer when you know about an author's connection to a story!

If you enjoy spy stories or fast paced thrillers - pick up You Can Run when you have some time because once you start you won't want to stop! I think this will be on my favorite books of 2021 list!
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This is fun and exciting novel that involves a CIA analyst and an investigative journalist.  The CIA agent, Jill, gets the call no parent wants, "We have your son."  She must make a split decision to save her son,  or save the country.  Once the decision is made, she must live with the consequences, or must she?
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You Can Run
September 15, 2021
Book Review
You Can Run
Karen Cleveland
reviewed by Lou Jacobs | Goodreads
“We have your son. Breathe a word of this to anyone and you’ll never see him again.” With this robotic voice proclamation Jill Bailey’s life will never be the same.
Jill is a senior CIA analyst whose job is vetting potential double agents, to ensure field agents haven’t been compromised or coerced into recruiting a foreign source. The mechanical voice instructs her to approve the report involving a Syrian defense official, attached to the covert biowarfare program, known by code name: Falcon. Jill does as she is told, and her son is returned to the daycare unharmed. She suspects she’s been compromised forever, and it’s a matter of time before “they” come at her again.
Realizing that she has compromised both family and country, she impulsively resigns her hard-earned position and career. She realizes that Falcon is most likely a “dangle;” a planted double agent from an adversarial country. Put in place to plant misinformation or obtain knowledge of our agents working in the field, leading to their elimination. Her husband, Drew Smith, is convinced by a vague argument to relocate their home and his legal career to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He has followed her faithfully on several foreign postings when she was a field agent. An uncomfortable four years has passed, with her teaching part-time both Mandarin and Turkish, and giving birth to a beautiful girl, Mia. Drew even says one day over breakfast, “We’re acting like we’re on the run.” She has left nothing to chance and used every tactic she learned in CIA training. All to no avail. One day she receives a simple note, in block letters and black marker: “YOU CAN RUN, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE.”
She senses and identifies a young black woman, late twenties, and quite statuesque with short black hair, who is following her in the grocery store. With her life unravelling, she is approached by this woman. She is an investigative journalist and wants to talk to her about Falcon. Alex Charles is eager to investigate a reliable tip regarding the CIA’s Syrian source. Not only to ferret out the truth, but also to break a blockbuster story and garner a Pulitzer for herself. This tipster tells Alex to find “Jill Bailey,” and everything will fall into place. Have the Syrians really developed a super strain of anthrax? One so lethal that it would kill ninety percent of those exposed. Who is Alex’s source and how is she privy to this inside intel?
Karen Cleveland weaves a complex and convoluted thriller that escalates inexorably with bursting tension and intrigue, as Jill and Alex eventually team-up to investigate who’s behind the insertion of this dangle , known as Falcon. They uncover a vast conspiracy that stretches into the depths of highly placed senior CIA officers. Only someone who has actually been a former CIA analyst, like Karen Cleveland, can provide the authenticity that exudes through every page. The ultimate reveal in the exciting denouement is chilling and decidedly unexpected … and without any breadcrumbs.
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing – Ballantine for providing an uncorrected proof of this gem, in exchange for an honest review.
Available on Amazon .....  Published at Mystery And Suspense Magazine .....
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Karen Cleveland blew me away with her debut thriller, Need to Know. Her inside knowledge from her work as a CIA analyst gives her books a degree of authenticity that appeals a lot to me. Cleveland is also a master of putting her protagonists in impossible dilemmas between their work obligations for the CIA and their private lives and careers.
This book is cut from the same cloth as her past books, but this time, the protagonist resigns from her job and tries to live on in another part of the country with her family that was put in jeopardy by her CIA job. That seems to be working fine for a while until a journalist finds her and tries to get her assistance uncovering a big conspiracy high up in the agency.
Cleveland loses the fifth star in my book along the way by letting her smart protagonist act irresponsibly irrationally and by wrapping up the story a little neatly and then adding yet another crazy plot twister in the very last pages of the book - a somewhat over-the-top trademark of Cleveland's that I am no great fan of.
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This book packs a punch! Jill is a CIA officer. With the kidnapping of her son, she is forced to do something to have her son returned to her and she resigns from the CIA. Thinking that resigning and moving her family will keep them safe, she lives a quiet life.  Fast forward and Alex, a reporter begins investigating things and thinks she might be involved. The book is told from both Jill’s and Alex’s perspectives which I feel makes it more interesting. I found the lesser characters very well written as well.  There are lots of twists and turns and the ending – WOW!!!

Also reviewed on Kobo under the name IrishEyes430
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