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A Running Duck    by Paula Gosling order for
Running Duck
by Paula Gosling
Order:  USA  Can
Pan, 1978 (1978)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is the first thriller I read by Paula Gosling (author also of The Woman in Red, The Zero Trap and the Paradise Island series) and it put this author immediately on my must read list. A Running Duck was first published in 1978 and, surprisingly, has not been recently reissued.

Advertizing executive Clare Randell is 'doing penance' for her decision not to marry her fiancÚ Dan. She's slumped in her stifling car in Sutro Heights, San Francisco, when she sees someone who doesn't want to be observed. The arrival of tourists prevents the stuttering assassin from taking immediate action, but Clare hasn't seen the last of him. Her life is about to change for the worse, big time. Soon, a couple of failed attempts to kill her arouse the interest of the police, and specifically of brooding Lieutenant Malchek.

They annoy each other from the beginning - he doesn't like her sarcasm and she can't stand his 'nasty cop' attitude. Malchek has been tracking international hit man Edison for years, and now Clare's his perfect bait. But, the best laid plans ... there's a leak, Edison has inside information, and after a safe house turns into an inferno, Clare and Malchek end up on the run from both cops and killer. She's stressed by the hunt, while he's haunted by old memories, and evil Edison is relentless.

It's full of non-stop action, with well realized characters, a developing relationship fueled by tough times, and plenty of close shaves to keep readers on an adrenaline high. A Running Duck is the ultimate in romantic suspense - if you haven't read it yet, or re-read it recently, find yourself a copy, and enjoy!

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