Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard #review

Book cover of Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard

Title: Run Time
Author: Catherine Ryan Howard
Publisher: Corvus


Movie-making can be murder.

The project

Final Draft, a psychological horror, being filmed at a house deep in a forest, miles from anywhere in the wintry wilds of West Cork.

The lead
Former soap star Adele Rafferty has stepped in to replace the original actress at the very last minute. She can’t help but hope that this opportunity will be her big break – and she knows she was lucky to get it, after what happened the last time she was on a set.

The problem
Something isn’t quite right about Final Draft. When the strange goings-on in the script start to happen on set too, Adele begins to fear that the real horror lies off the page…

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My review:

Run Time is the kind of fast-paced, tension-filled novel I would love to see adapted into a film – and the fact it’s about making a film would just add to the meta nature of it all!

In Run Time we follow out of work actress Adele as she’s invited, last minute, to be the lead in a mysterious horror movie filming back in Ireland, where she’s originally from. But, pretty much from the moment she walks onto the set, things don’t seem quite right…

I’ve really enjoyed other novels by this author so I had high hopes for this book, and I wasn’t disappointed. The author serves up tension, eeriness, a growing sense of dread and also some dark humour as more and more odd things start happening. The creepiness mirrors the horror movie the crew are making, and I really liked this.

Main character Adele is fiesty but, importantly, desperate – which is why she gets sucked into this ‘amazing opportunity’ that seems too good to be true. You feel her confusion and then horror as things get weirder and weirder.

Running alongside this is the fact that we know something went very wrong with a previous project Adele was involved in, but we’re never quite sure what – so we’re never sure if we can rely on her version of events – and I always enjoy reading books with a potentially unreliable narrator! We also get chapters from the book that Adele’s character is reading in the screenplay, and this adds a quirky twist to the book’s many layers which I really enjoyed!

It’s a fairly long read but it absolutely kept my attention. It gets very over the top so you do of course need to suspend your disbelief, which is always the case with this kind of genre. Run Time is a lot of fun to read and I’d recommend it!

My rating: 4/5

Many thanks to the publisher, Corvus, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.


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