Rated 2 stars ** 2012. Bryanna Wallace Enterprises. 443 pp.
Cliff Walker had everything going for him. He was an all around athlete, especially excelling at baseball. His father had been a top prospect for the Red Sox, and it looked like Cliff was on his way to greatness. Suddenly he disappeared off the face of the sports world.
Fast forward to Cliff’s sessions in a psychiatric hospital where he’d been taken after attempting suicide. Through the help of his doctor, he learned he suffers from Depression and Agoraphobia. Running is the only thing that lessens his anxiety so, upon his release, Cliff begins a nightly routine of logging long and fast miles through his South Boston neighborhood.
Through the actions of his best friends, Cliff is soon being trained for the Boston Marathon and is expected to become the first American to defeat the Kenyans since Greg Meyer did so in 1983. The only problem with this plan is Cliff can’t run during the daytime or his Agoraphobia kicks in big time.
Wallace throws in humor along with the names of well known sports writers, anchors, reporters, and runners as well as Boston and South Boston clubs and notables. Set in South Boston, “Night Runner” is full of lingo from the area which may prove difficult to understand for those not from “Southie” (such as the many references to “13,909.”) I had to ask someone from the South Boston area what that meant. I won’t spill it here, but will see if you can figure it out yourself if you decide to read “Night Runner” or not.
“Night Runner” has a really nice storyline and moved me to tears a few times, so I will recommend it to Adult readers. Unfortunately, as is usually the case with self published books, I have to say some may be thrown by blatant errors in grammar and spelling which appear constantly throughout the book. I almost read it with a red pen in hand, but forced myself to get out of correction mode and to just read it for its storyline. It was hard as errors were blatantly on almost every page, but if I can do it you can too.