It’s the 1990s in California. Pablo is a young, wealthy Central American man leading the good life. Until one day he witnesses and is blamed for a vicious crime which leaves him with both the police and drug lords after him.
His money gone and a bounty on his head, Pablo descends into crime himself in order to survive. He heads across the country to New York to seek out the only person he can think of with the knowledge and skills to assist him – Mad Dog, his best friend’s cousin who himself has been working in the drug trade for the last ten years. Pablo will face many challenges in his new life underground, but one of the biggest will be dealing with his new ally, whose way of seeing the world is very different to his own.
This book is so much fun! Pablo is an interesting study of what a person will do when they are pushed to the limit to find out what they are capable of. His own horror at his initial actions is realistic and he then rather than bottoming out he seems to equalise and find his new moral compass.
Mad Dog, however, is my favourite character. He is a hardened dug dealer who has seen bad things and had bad things happen to him. But he is not a bad guy. He’s not just interested, but invested in Pablo’s welfare and continually tries to expand Pablo’s thinking and encourage his self-development and self awareness. Mad Dog also has concern for his clients – he doesn’t see an addiction to cocaine as being any different to an addiction to sex, money or power (although is worse as it could kill you). All of these things indicate someone is trying to fill a hole inside them. Pablo gets really frustrated with Mad Dog’s “new age crap” but realises he has no choice but to suck it up because Mad Dog is literally saving his life. On the Run is essentially a journey to self for Pablo, with Mad Dog as his guide.
The book is incredibly well researched and intricately detailed. There were times I had to remind myself that I was reading a work of fiction rather than a memoir. The story is well paced and will completely suck you in!
4 out of 5 offshore bank accounts.
With thanks to Netgalley and the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.