Running Out of Road, coming in July, is a race against time, played out in the brooding wilderness, the limestone gorges and gritstone edges of the Peak District. It’s the story of eleven-year-old Scarlett, who has survived a great loss, is full of dreams for the future and a passion to protect the planet, when she is abducted and driven up into the hills, with the police in hot pursuit.
Scarlett’s path collides with that of others. Ron has made a living as a house and pet sitter since quitting his career on the front line in the fire service. He’s currently looking after a place deep in the Derbyshire Peaks. The solitude suits him. And managing animals is so much simpler than coping with other people. Dylan’s a ‘cuckoo’, dealing drugs on the county line, moving from nest to nest, picking out people who daren’t say no. Keeping his head down, one step ahead of the law. So far. But now everything’s falling apart.
The action unfolds over a few hours on a wretched February evening, as Storm Dennis barrels in from the north bringing floods and ensuing chaos.
Writing Running out of Road during lockdown, when I could no longer go walking in the hills, allowed me to escape there in my imagination, and become engrossed in Scarlett’s adventure. And I do hope you’ll get the same pleasure from reading it as I did writing it.
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