Blog Tour | Too Late To Run by John Perich

Title: Too Late To Run

Author: John Perich

Series: Mara Cunningham #3

Age: Adult

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Publication Date: November 17th, 2014

Source: Paperback

Purchase: Amazon 


Hard-hitting crime photographer Mara Cunningham is back on the streets of Boston.

The FBI scooped up the city's most notorious real estate developer without warning, and they're not saying why.

As Mara digs into Mickey Scanlon's arrest, every clue she uncovers turns up more trouble: gun-toting militias, corrupt bankers, and psycho arsonists. All of them have a score to settle with Mickey, and they'll run over anything--or anyone--who gets in their way.

They have no idea what they're in for.

TOO LATE TO RUN is the third book in the Mara Cunningham series. It follows Boston's most dangerous photographer as she solves mysteries, uncovers secrets, and busts some heads. It's dark, gritty, and action-packed.

My Rating: 


The waiter chose that moment to reappear. "Another of those, sir?" He gave a short bow toward Brandt's empty beer glass in that way waiters have. Brandt nodded. "And you, ma'am?" I found my voice somehow. "Manhattan." "Any preference for your whiskey?" "Yes. No. I don't care. Whatever you … you know." The waiter gave another short bow, as if he received these orders every day, and sidled off, leaving me alone with Jeremy Brandt's gentle grin. "Not the answer you were expecting?" he asked.
 "Not hardly," I said. I had covered the State House beat for the Boston Tribune up until five years ago, when I'd pulled a stunt that the paper had threatened to fire me over. The union and the owners had reached a compromise: I could keep working for the paper, but I would never write another word. Gary, the metro desk editor, had kept me on as a photographer. But the work had been drying up over the last four years: more freelancers, fewer pages per issue, less money to go around. All of which led to this midday interview with Jeremy Brandt. But no, not the sort of interview I'd been expecting at all. "I hate to talk you out of your brilliant idea," I said, "but you know I haven't written for the Tribune for some time." He nodded. "And I heard about why. That's what inspired me to take a look at you. I need writers with that sort of initiative. Writers with the stones to point out the obvious, no matter who it might embarrass." "I didn't realize the story had traveled that far." I felt the blush flowing down to my collarbone again. The encouragement in Brandt's eyes didn't help any. "I heard it from Saul Kirkadian, actually." My mentor at the Tribune, he'd left last August after more than forty years on the beat. "In full disclosure, he was my first choice. But he gave me your name instead and told me why I should give you a look. I trust his judgment." "And I trust yours." My Manhattan arrived on a literal silver platter, next to Brandt's beer. We took our drinks and toasted. Every moment of eye contact between us ended in mutual smiles, as if we were in on some private joke. "I'm recruiting feature writers in all the big metros," he said. "Boston, Atlanta, LA, Chicago. People with experience and a viewpoint, not just content mills." "So you're not looking for 'Twenty Reasons Boston is Better Than New York'?" "There aren't any." He grinned. "But no, I want feature copy. The sort of articles you'd write for the Tribune, if you had your way. And more of them too. Ours is still a high-volume business." "You'll get them." "Good. The hours might get crazy." "That's fine." I kept nodding, then checked my head. My hours didn't entirely belong to me; the class I taught in Cambridge at Sandy's self-defense school was another obligation. "There are a couple of evenings—" Brandt held a hand up. "You set your own schedule. So long as copy gets to the editors on time, I don't care what else you do." "Really?" The release of tension had left me feeling playful. "You don't want me signing a morals clause?" Another moment of lingering eye contact. "I don't think either of us would last very long with a morals clause." I lowered my eyes to my drink and stomped on the brakes in my head. Pleasant enough to dwell on what Brandt was doing to my imagination—and what he might do to other parts of me—but that was as far as it could go. This man was, potentially, my future boss. I'd screwed my life up in the past by going after the wrong older man. My cell phone vibrated in my purse, trembling against my leg. I kicked it aside. Whoever it was could wait.The check came; Brandt paid it. We stood, gathered our things, and went for the exit. I overheard murmurs and saw a few heads snap up as we passed: is that? Do you think? And who's she? I smirked at the notion of appearing in the celebrity pages, before remembering I didn't want anyone knowing about my job hunt. Shit. Hopefully no one recognized me. "Do you have a writing portfolio?" Brandt asked as we reached the street. "Absolutely." "Send it to me, and we'll do this once more." We set a follow-up for the day after next. As a metro photographer, I was notionally on call throughout my entire shift. In practice, the Tribune needed me less and less every day. I could spare the time for another date with a silver fox. Interview, Mara. Not a date, an interview. "I'll see you then." We shook hands, his fingers warm against my palm. Then I jogged to where I'd parked my car, heels clacking on the pavement. While the maverick captain of new media had been flattering me over drinks, I'd missed one text and one call. I didn't recognize the phone number on the call, so I left it alone. The text was from Gary, an assignment he wanted me to cover. Three-alarm fire, Vassall Street in Quincy. And like that, the pleasant flush of the afternoon vanished. My brain queued up a list of items to consider: traffic at this time of day,  crowds gawking at the fire, who I knew among South Shore first responders.
 Playtime's over; back to business.

My Thoughts

Medium paced and full of action, Mara Cunningham is back! The Feds has now captured Mickey Scanlon at his office and questions Mara about him. She knows nothing. It's not until she is hired by Tommy, an associate of Mickey's, that things get interesting.

Mara takes the job to look deeper into things with Mickey, but soon finds that the more she looks and the deeper she digs the more she puts herself in danger.

I find Mara to be a very brilliant lady, yet naïve at the same time. After all that she went through in Too Close To Miss and Too Much To Handle, she still has yet to learn to stay out of danger. Shockingly enough it makes me love her character even more because she is constantly thrown into things and handles them not so much with grace but with a unique edge.

John Perich has created a fantastic character in Mara Cunningham. His writing style is easy to love. The plot twists and surprises are outstanding and make for such an awesome mystery series.

Definitely recommend this and can't wait to get more or Mara.

About the Author

While working in a variety of Boston-area tech startups, John Perich has still found time to write and publish several gritty crime thrillers, particularly the Mara Cunningham series (Too Close To Miss in 2011; Too Hard to Handle in 2012).

His latest book is the mystery/thriller, Too Late to Run.

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