I have an overactive imagination when it comes to potential disasters. I view most of my daily activities in terms of survivability and, once you reckon that walking down the street and skydiving are equally anxiety-provoking, life gets a lot calmer. I like to make elaborate plans in case I end up in a hostage situation, lost in the woods at night, or framed for murder.
I think about my exit strategy if I get into hot water. I plan what I would pack, what disguise I would use, and what route I would take out of the city. Writing a hacker has also taught me that I need to dump all my electronics—not even a pocket calculator would make it onto my grab-and-go list. I consider how I would cryptically communicate with my loved ones (latest football scores on a postcard) and where I could stay for only a few pounds and fewer questions.
Would I try to go it alone? Is it easier to get lost in the hubbub of a city or find a remote caravan park and hole up for the foreseeable future? Would I gravitate to somewhere I know well, like my hometown or my beloved Cardiff, or would the bad guys think to follow me there? Would I try to skip the country, catch a ferry into Ireland or France?
Most of all, I think about who I could trust. Who would protect me? Would the police think to search that person’s house? Where would they hide me? Would they give me away?
In Code Runner, my loveable ex-con Jason doesn’t have the luxury of planning. First, he’s framed for murder. Then, he’s busted out of his prison transport by someone trying to kill him, leaving more bodies in his wake. Wounded and alone, he is thrust out into the Welsh countryside, with nothing but an old suit and the ever-present rain.
What can he do? Where can he run? Who can he turn to?
Enter Amy Lane. She may be a demanding employer, but she goes above and beyond the role of “understanding boss”. Jason knows Amy will help him, knows she’s the only one who can prove his innocence, and he makes a beeline for her. (It helps that she planted a tracking device on him. She’s a little overprotective like that.) Trouble is, there’s only so much help she can give him, confined to her flat by her agoraphobia. And all the tech in the world is no help if the phone signal is dodgy out in those woods…
Who would you trust with your life? Where would you run to? What’s in your essential grab-and-go bag? Except books, of course!
Ex-con Jason Carr has faced down the toughest thugs in Cardiff, but being assistant to a brilliant, eccentric hacker who hasn’t been outdoors in ten years has its own challenges. Still, he and Amy Lane can solve cases even the cops can’t crack. And when a corpse washes up on a beach, Jason can’t resist chasing the clues—or defying Amy by infiltrating the very gangs he once escaped.
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.
But Amy hasn’t been honest with him—her panic attacks aren’t getting better. And now, with everything that makes her feel safe ripped away, she must stand alone, using her technological skills to expose a baffling conspiracy and a new kind of online crime. Can she clear Jason’s name before danger closes in?
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Rosie Claverton grew up in Devon, daughter to a Sri Lankan father and a Norfolk mother, surrounded by folk mythology and surly sheep. She moved to Cardiff to study medicine and adopted Wales as her home. Her short film “Dragon Chasers” aired on BBC Wales in Autumn 2012. Currently exiled to London, she lives with her journalist husband and their pet hedgehog. You can find Rosie at Swords and Lattes and @rosieclaverton on Twitter.