Running Out Of Road by Cath Staincliffe

A missing schoolgirl, a middle-aged recluse, an exploited teenager. Lives thrown into chaos and set on collision course. With the police in hot pursuit.

Scarlett is dancing in the school talent show tomorrow. Nana, who Scarlett lives with since Mum died, reckons Scarlett will be on Strictly at this rate. Except Scarlett doesn’t make it home from school. She’s abducted by a man she never imagined she’d see again. A man on the police’s most wanted list. Her dad. 

Ron has made a living as a house and pet sitter since quitting his career on the front line in the fire service. He’s currently looking after a place deep in the Derbyshire Peaks. The solitude suits him. And managing animals is so much simpler than coping with other people. 

Dylan’s a ‘cuckoo’, dealing drugs on the county line, moving from nest to nest, picking out people who daren’t say no. Keeping his head down, one step ahead of the law. So far. But now everything’s falling apart.

DS Laura O’Neil is running on empty after nights dealing with her teething toddler. But Laura is driving the hunt for Scarlett and knows that every minute counts. 

A race against time, played out in the brooding wilderness, the limestone gorges and gritstone edges of the Peak District. Themes of escape and entrapment, of shifting loyalties and new alliances, of violence, fear and love, resilience, kindness and hope.

The beautiful Peak District is the backdrop for the latest novel by Cath Staincliffe, a gripping cat and mouse chase that brings together some brilliantly crafted characters. Eleven year old Scarlett is snatched by her estranged father on the way home from school. Dylan is a county lines drug dealer on the run after a shocking incident, Ron is a house sitter with a tragic past and Laura is the police officer who is about to get thrown into a case that will test her resilience And when these four people connect, the resulting violence leaves no one untouched…

Cath Staincliffe always writes character driven fiction that feels authentic and relatable. Running Out Of Road continued that same theme combining interesting people going about their everyday lives with a compelling storyline. It’s that moment when one little thing changes the lives of so many with a domino effect that comes unexpectedly, touching their lives and leaving them changed forever. I found myself convinced of their existence, desperately needing to know that everyone was going to be okay. As their individual stories unraveled and became entwined I became totally invested in the outcome and I wasn’t disappointed-what an ending!

I definitely recommend Running Out Of Road. Its a brilliant page turner, set in a stunning but desolate part of the UK and with a cast of characters who will stay with you long after you turn the last page. I absolutely loved it!


Cath Staincliffe is a best-selling, award-winning novelist, radio playwright and the creator of ITV’s hit series, Blue Murder, starring Caroline Quentin as DCI Janine Lewis. Cath’s books have been short-listed for the British Crime Writers Association best first novel award, for the Dagger in the Library twice and twice for the Short Story Dagger, winning in 2012. She was a winner of the WGGB Best Radio Drama Award in 2019. Cath’s Sal Kilkenny private eye series features a single-parent sleuth working the mean streets of Manchester. Her debut Looking For Trouble was serialised on Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4. Trio, a stand-alone novel moved away from crime to explore adoption and growing up in the 1960s, informed by Cath’s own experience. Letters To My Daughter’s Killer was selected for Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club in 2014 and featured on ITV3’s Crime Thriller Club. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey novels based on the popular UK TV series. Cath created the probate detective series Legacy for BBC Radio 4 and guest writes on the Stone police drama. Her recent stand-alone novels examine the impact of crime on ordinary families. The Girl in the Green Dress was inspired by her experience as the parent of a transgender child. Cath’s latest book, Quiet Acts of Violence, sees detective duo DI Donna Bell and DC Jade Bradshaw investigating the death of a newborn baby and launching a hunt for her missing mother. Cath is one of the founding members of Murder Squad – a group of Northern crime writers who give readings, talks and signings around the country. Cath was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, UK and now lives in Manchester, Lancashire with her family. You can follow her on Twitter, @CathStaincliffe, where she hangs about when she should be busy writing!

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jorobertson2015

I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.