Code Runner by Rosie Claverton. Read September 2014.

The second in the Amy Lane Mysteries series and even more action packed than the first.
“Amy is distraught when Jason’s pursuit gets him framed for murder. He’s thrown back in prison where he’s vulnerable to people who want him dead. He needs Amy to prove his innocence. Fast.”
This is the first book for a while to pass my ‘guilt’ test – I felt guilty if put the book aside when one of the main characters was in peril, and with Code Runner that was 90% of the time.
Lots of unanswered questions from Binary Witness are explained in this second instalment but Amy remains an enigmatic character (I’m a little concerned about how much I like and identify with Amy and I look forward to comparing notes with other readers on this). The other recurring characters are developed into a strong cast and I hope to encounter them in many more adventures. My one criticism is that the explanation of the relationships between the bad guys was vague and left me confused as to who had done what.
I recommend this series to anyone who likes a fast paced thriller but one that also makes you think.
Thank you to the author and publisher, via Netgalley, for the advance copy e-book

CODE RUNNER – EXCERPT

Making his way down St. Mary’s Street in Cardiff’s piss-poor excuse for a city centre, Rich checked his watch, rubbing at the rain that splattered it. Twenty minutes—he could stroll it. He passed McDonald’s and the chavs propping up the windows, disaffected youth in fake designer gear and gold-looking chains. He clocked three of them who he’d seen on the unsolved boards in the office. Petty theft, possession of a negligible amount of cocaine, school arson. What a gallon of twats.

Speaking of twats… Rich became aware of a skinhead coming up behind him on the street, and automatically pulled his jacket closer. He subtly checked him out in the reflection of the shop window: a tall, broad twenty-something with a light coating of stubble on his cheeks. He wore a nice leather jacket—looked vintage, but you could buy that crap from the indoor market for a pittance. Cheap Chinese crap that kids thought made them look cool.

This boy didn’t look like the usual breed of neo-Nazi scum, but DI Hesketh had been wittering on about an increased presence of English Defence League—or was that Welsh Defence League?—hooligans on their streets. They were supposed to be on the lookout for racially motivated crimes, but Rich had never been keen to police what was going on in someone’s head. And if the Welsh bastards wanted to keep Wales for themselves, they were welcome to it.

Yet this kid made him antsy precisely because he didn’t fit the bill. He had his shoulders hunched down and was walking at a pace that his long legs could easily have exceeded. Why was he walking so damn slowly?

Rich suddenly felt a deep sense of unease, the hairs on the back of his neck rising up. Had he done something to piss off the boys down in grubby Splott? Had they sent a friend to take care of him? He regretted leaving his badge at home.

It wasn’t yet nine o’clock but the streets were dark and quiet, falling into the lull between the day’s shoppers heading home and the nightlife coming out to play. There were barely twenty people the entire length of the street and no one close to them. The skinhead could easily come up behind him, slide a knife between his ribs, and that would be him done. Nobody would even know until Rich spilled his lifeblood on the ground, spreading pink in the rainwater gutters of the street.

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