by Thomas Perry

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Jane Whitefield—the fierce and resourceful heroine of Thomas Perry's most popular thrillers—returns from retirement to guide a fugitive out of danger.

For more than a decade, Jane Whitefield pursued her unusual profession: “I’m a guide . . . I show people how to go from places where somebody is trying to kill them to other places where nobody is.” Then she promised her husband she would never work again, and settled in to live a happy, quiet life as Jane McKinnon, the wife of a surgeon in Amherst, New York. But when a bomb goes off in the middle of a hospital fundraiser, Jane finds herself face to face with the cause of the explosion: a young pregnant girl who has been tracked across the country by a team of guns-for-hire. That night, regardless of what she wants or the vow she’s made to her husband, Jane must come back to transform one more victim into a runner. Her quest for safety sets in motion a mission that may be as much of a rescue operation as it is a chance for revenge.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547415956
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 01/07/2010
Series: Jane Whitefield Series , #6
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 76,677
File size: 506 KB
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

THOMAS PERRY is the author of the Jane Whitefield series as well as the best-selling novels Nightlife, Death Benefits, and Pursuit. He won the Edgar Award for The Butcher’s Boy, and Metzger’s Dog was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Read an Excerpt


By Perry, Thomas
Mariner Books
Copyright © 2010

Perry, Thomas
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780547247922


The girl kept half-turning in the back seat to stare out the rear window of the cab, as though she were being chased across Buffalo to the hospital. It made Pete Sawicki as nervous as she was. He kept flicking his eyes to the rearview mirror, but all the way to the hospital he saw trucks, people driving station wagons to the supermarket, kids throwing baseballs beside empty streets—nothing at all that was suspicious except her. He pulled up to the emergency room entrance and got out of his cab to open her door.

She had a pretty face. She was very young, maybe even jailbait, with long light brown hair, eyes that looked gray-green, full lips that seemed to pout as she concentrated on getting out of the back seat of the cab. Pete held his hand out to help her, but she deflected his attention with a look that went past him as though he were gone already. Usually somebody who wanted a cab ride to the hospital emergency room wanted a hand.

She stood and once again her belly showed, stood out from her body under the loose shirt. It was none of his business, but Pete couldn’t help seeing the pregnancy as tragic in somebody her age. How could it not be?

"How much?" she said, her hand already moving into her purse.

"Eight bucks."

She frowned. "It can’t be."

He pretended to look inside at the meter, and chuckled to himself."You’re right. It’s twelve." He took the fifteen dollars she handed him. "Thanks. And thanks for noticing that." He stepped around the cab to his door, watched her walking to the emergency room, and waited until he saw the glass doors slide open to admit her and then close. He got back into the cab, reached into his pocket, took out a ten-dollar bill to pay for the rest of her fare, and put it into the cashbox. Then he drove out the circular drive. He supposed he would head out to the airport and take a place in the line there. It was still early in the day and flights from the west would start coming in soon.

AT THE RECEPTION DESK the woman in the uniform told the girl to sit and wait, but the triage nurse came out only a couple of minutes later and brought her into an office. The nurse said, "If you’ve got to be in the emergency room, you picked a good time. Beginning in the late afternoon, things get pretty hectic." The girl recited the symptoms as well as she could remember them, and then she had to answer the nurse’s questions. Some were the obvious ones anyone would ask a pregnant woman, and some seemed to be all-purpose questions for emergency rooms. If you answered yes to any of them, you would belong in a hospital.

When the nurse started to stand, the girl said abruptly, "Do you happen to know a woman named Jane Whitefield?"

"I’m not sure. I may have heard the name. Why?"

"Oh, it’s not important. Somebody I know told me if I was in this hospital I should say hello for her."

"It’s a big hospital. I’m going to have you wait in an examining room. A doctor will be in to see you shortly."

The girl sat on the narrow bed in the small white room to wait for the doctor. She felt stupid, humiliated. Why would anybody ask her to say hello to somebody in an emergency room? Her mistake made her more nervous. She looked at the complicated telephone mounted on the wall. It made no sound, but she could see colored lights along the top, some steady and others blinking—green, red, and yellow. She stood and looked at it more closely. Maybe she could find the right button to make an announcement over the hospital’s public-address system. She had a professional-sounding telephone voice. If she could find the right button, she could say, "Jane Whitefield, please report to the emergency room. Jane Whitefield, there is a patient to see you in the emergency room." It would be a huge risk, because they might throw her out or even have her arrested, but she had to do something.

The girl stepped closer and looked for labels on the buttons, then heard a woman’s voice talking, growing louder as the woman came up the hall. The girl turned away from the phone and heard the swish of fabric as the woman stepped into the room. The woman was brown-skinned, about forty years old, and seemed to be from the Middle East or Asia. She wore a starched white coat with a gold name tag. "Christine?"


"I’m Dr. Depredha. Are you in pain? Are you having cramps now?"

"Once in a while they come back."


"I think it stopped."

Dr. Depredha touched Christine’s forehead, then took her stethoscope and pressed it against Christine’s neck for a few seconds. "All right. Let’s get you undressed and I’ll give you a brief exam, so we’ll know more." She opened a drawer, took out a package, and tore it open. Christine could see it was a gown. "You can put this on, and I’ll be back in a minute." She started out, pulling the door after her.



"Do you know a woman named Jane Whitefield?"

"Sounds familiar. Is she a doctor?"

"I don’t know. Someone I know said I might run into her here."

One of Dr. Depredha’s perfect curved eyebrows gave an eloquent upward twitch that conveyed sympathy, apology, and yet, a businesslike urgency. "I haven’t been here long. I’ll be back." She went out and closed the door.

Christine’s heart was beating faster. She was feeling more and more panicky. Sweat dampened her shirt and nausea was coming on. She had come so far, and she was so frightened. Now that she was here, the place seemed to be a lot of blank, unknowing faces and closed doors, and she had no idea how long she would be safe here. She fought the impulse to step out the door and run, and began to undress. This was the plan she had chosen. She had to carry it through and give it a chance to work. If she couldn’t find Jane Whitefield, at least maybe she could stay here long enough to rest.

DR. DEPREDHA HURRIED OUT to the reception area and spotted the big security officer near the doors to the parking lot. As she stepped toward him she saw his head turn, his dark, intelligent eyes see her, and his black face smile down at her. "Mr. Mathews."

"Dr. Depredha. What can I do for you?" For an instant she felt the warm, reassuring attention that he always brought with him. He was about six feet seven and weighed, by her estimate, two hundred and eighty pounds, but his manner made him seem like a doting uncle.

She had to speak quickly and just above a whisper. "I just got a patient, a pregnant female who listed her age as twenty. She’s showing signs of extreme anxiety. She’s afraid. Genuinely frightened."

"Do you need help with her?"

"Not with her. She’s perfectly docile. But I have a feeling about this. She acts as though she were being chased. Do you understand?"

He nodded. "What does she look like?"

"Caucasian, brown hair, light eyes. Looks younger than twenty. Her name is Christine. The triage nurse noted that she arrived alone in a taxi."

"I saw her. All right, Doctor," said Mr. Mathews. "I’ll begin watching for anyone who might be looking for her."

"Thank you, Mr. Mathews." She turned and hurried back through the automatic doors that led to the examining rooms.

Officer Stanley Mathews stepped to the outer doors of the emergency room and looked out. He wasn’t quite sure what he was looking for—an angry parent or brother, an abusive boyfriend, or even some female rival with a gun in her purse. Dr. Depredha wasn’t some flighty, overprotected woman who imagined danger. Before she had come to this country she had been in a couple of wars, doing battlefield patch-up jobs while incoming mortar rounds thumped inside the perimeter near enough to bounce the instruments on the table. He’d seen a bit of that sort of thing himself. If she felt uneasy, he felt uneasy. He pushed open the double doors with both hands and stepped outside to see who might have pulled into the parking lot since he’d last looked. Some people had seen enough terror and misery in their lives so they seemed to develop a sense of when trouble was coming. They could feel it.

JANE MCKINNON SURVEYED the room from the doorway. Tonight the hospital cafeteria had been not only decorated but disguised, the windows covered with long drapes and the ceiling hung with clusters of hundreds of white Japanese lanterns of different sizes. The benefit seemed to be going smoothly. People were moving away from the hors d’oeuvre tables and circulating instead of knotting up near the food and drink. The conversation was loud and continuous. The band had arrived, set up, and done sound checks during the late afternoon, so that when the music started it would be tolerable. As Jane moved in among the guests, her tall, erect shape and the light blue evening dress that set off the dark skin and black hair she had inherited from her father made people turn to watch her for a moment. The intense blue eyes she’d inherited from her mother acknowledged them and moved on.


A man’s voice, too close, coming from above her head. Jane McKinnon pivoted to face him, her eyes taking in hands-face-body in the first fraction of a second. It was only Gary Wanamaker, the hospital’s director of development. The muscles in her arms and back relaxed, and she managed a smile. Her knees straightened from the preparatory flex that the long evening dress had hidden from view. For some reason she hadn’t recognized the voice. She was jumpy tonight, abnormally alert.


Copyright © 2009 by Thomas Perry

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online at or mailed to the following address: Permissions Department, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.


Excerpted from Runner by Perry, Thomas Copyright © 2010 by Perry, Thomas. Excerpted by permission.
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Customer Reviews

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Runner (Jane Whitefield Series #6) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ah, Jane , back helping people disappear again, even after you retired. All it took, was a bomb, exploding in the hospital where you work. Yes, its been years since she has helped a runner, but she is definitely back in business. Thomas Perry has revived one of my favorite characters, better written, grittier, and a style that will keep you reading...through the night. Absolute must read for the fans of Jane Whitefield, and any Thomas Perry fan. If you enjoy this book be sure to read the early ones also. I enjoyed 'Runner' a great deal and grade it a Five Star Read.
William_BN More than 1 year ago
Thomas Perry is one of my favorite story tellers and the Jane Whitefield Series is just a flat out good read. I really like the main character and the story lines are interesting without all the complications of the International Thrillers. Just the kind of straight forward reading that you can enjoy on that long plane ride or settling down for an hour or so before bedtime. I highly recommend. An A
Mockingbirdy More than 1 year ago
This much anticipated Jane Whitefield mystery is the best yet in Perry's series of the "one who makes you disappear". Jane has matured and moved on in her life, but sustains her tight hold on innate values and thin tensile relationships from the past. This tale blends Jane's "new" life with her former life - not without hiccups along the way, but with a realism that adds pathos to the storyline. I hope it won't be another 10 years before we get the next installment of her tale.
reader100 More than 1 year ago
I adore Perry's work, and was so excited about another Jane Whitefield story that the moment I got my B&N notice about its release, I turned off the computer and drove to the store. They didn't have it yet, so I returned home and ordered it online. It was both enjobable and a disappointment. Perry's Jane is still intriguing, and I like the acknowledgment of the changes happening in her ability to hide/run. What I didn't find believable was the villain's end of the tale. The character Perry created would not have bothered to chase his prey UNTIL the threat presented to him that would have him take that path. Additionally, the opening action felt not only over the top, but didn't quite make sense. The perspective change with chapters didn't work until after the first few chapters. Jane's angst over her relationship with her spouse felt stale and repetitive and, if you haven't read the previous tales, rather unnecessary for the current tale. That part of the series didn't seem to move forward at all. Even with all the problems, Perry's writing is still tight, and he moves you along quickly. I would highly recommend the previous books in his Jane Whitefield series, but this one only to those of us who missed Jane so much we're willing to let this one be the placeholder until we get the next, and hopefully better, one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all the previous books in this series, and I can hardly wait to get this one! I had thought the series was ended, and I have never been so happy to be wrong. I love all of Thomas Perry's books, but this series is the very best. I have also just discovered author John Twelve Hawks, "The Traveler" series, and I am reading that right now. It is excellent, and will likely appeal to those who like the Jane Whitefield series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Glad to see Perry returning to one of the best characters in the past decade. He has allowed time to pass, the character to age and change and grow - bravo! Jane is fascinating, strong and very smart.
TRPChicago More than 1 year ago
Fans of earlier Jane Whitefields surely will like this a lot. For newcomers, Jane is native American, a guide to a new life for "runners" who need a total split from their past, to disappear without betraying a trace of their old identities. In this novel, a powerful family with a lot at stake stalks Jane's pregnant client, and they have plenty of ideas about where to look. Jane herself is believably clever, smart and fiercely loyal to clients despite the disruptions they cause in her private life. While Runner is not quite as good as Thomas Perry's early classic, Pursuit, few escapist thrillers are. Runner is nuanced and fast-paced. Be prepared to read this in one or two sittings.
MinniePE More than 1 year ago
Thomas Perry is one of my favorite authors and I especially loved his original Jane Whitefield series. Was really happy to see that he's writing about her again. His books are so good I can't put them down.
ImBookingIt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I finished listening to this book today (I downloaded it from Audible). Things I liked:I really wanted to come back to reading this each time I stopped. I liked revisiting Jane Whitefield and seeing how her life had changed. She seemed to mature in a fairly realistic way. This book examined the consequences to her life in a more thorough way than I remember from previous books (although it has been years, my memory is fuzzy). I found the "runner" in this book to be a frustratingly realistic character at times. The bad guys were satisfyingly bad.The biggest problem I had with this book may have been less of an issue for me if I read it on paper rather than audio. I found the breaks between chapters choppy, and they frequently left me wondering if I had tuned out and missed something (Usually I hadn't. Once I had.There was a lot of the usual suspension of disbelief that things could really unfold the way they did, but no worse than any other thriller.All in all, an enjoyable read.
polutropos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Return to Perry's excellence, after the disappointment of Fidelity. Jane Whitefield, who helps people in trouble disappear, is back, and therefore in the end order is restored in the world once again. Taut suspense, a true page-turner. Additionally Perry resists the temptation to make everything perfect for the heroine in the end, a noble true-life ending rather than a fairy-tale one. Most highly recommended.
reannon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perry is one of my favorite authors, and I have loved the Jane Whitefield series, about a woman who helps people in trouble disappear. This is the first in the series in a number of years; Perry wrote a number of excellent stand alones in between. Jane takes her first case in over five years, as she feels she cannot turn away the young pregnant woman escaping a dangerous and abusive boyfriend.I liked this book quite a lot, but it isn't, in my mind as good as some of the others in the series. My favorite was the one in which Jane and a couple of others gave away billions of Mafia money to charities.It is a terrific series, though I'd start with some of the earlier ones and savor your way through all of them.
YogiABB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
am a Thomas Perry fan and have enjoyed his books but I just couldn't get into this book. This was my first Jane whitefield book of his and Jane and I never quite hit it off. The action seemed perfunctory, the suspense wasn't there. I didn't feel anything about the characters at all.
Bumpersmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thomas Perry, shame on you for leaving the character without a follow up book for so many years. Jane Whitefield is not the average character, she is so interesting and there is so much depth to her, including what she does.Jane Whitefield is a "guide" she helps people who have no body to turn to, and no "legal" witness protection program that will help them. It is not a profession for her, it is a calling.Several years ago I read the first 5 books about this character, and as the years passed, I was disappointed when she did not return.This book has all the elements needed to make it a don't put down page turning thriller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very Good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is hard to find good new authors somtimes, so going back to someone you know makes it a good enjoyable read********* and I was not disappointed!
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