Hollie Overton’s third novel takes us to LA, where Ash lives with her foster mother Becca.

Everything is going well except Ash has been lying to Becca: She quit volunteering to make time for her boyfriend, a boy from her past who she lost sight of when she moved in with Becca, a psychologist working for the LAPD, and who found a different family. The Tribe lives in Skid Row and Ash feels pulled in by Nate and the other homeless people. Although all she ever wanted was a family like Becca, she seems to fit in better with the runaways and delinquents. The Tribe, headed up by Mo, are shady and violent, but she trusts Nate and one night, she disappears with him.

Told from three points of views, we discover what happens while Ash is on the run, Becca’s quest to find her daughter, and Mo shows her true colours when she plots the future of The Tribe.

Ash finds herself caught up in dangerous situations which don’t just end when she is reunited with her mother. The Tribe is still out there, Mo has a plan and she is out to get Ash. Once you are in The Tribe, it is impossible to leave. Alive anyway.

Just like her debut novel, Baby Doll, Overton pulls us in from the start and despite some flashbacks, the story keeps moving. When you think all is over, it is only just beginning.

Interestingly, Overton’s father was a member of a gang in Texas and spent several years in prison for manslaughter which gives the story a better sense of reality. Knowing this makes the story even more powerful. Because in the end, it is a story about family: The one we are given, the one we choose for ourselves, and the one we build if there is no other way.

The Runaway, by Hollie Overton, ISBN 9781787460744

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