YOU CAN RUN
A Kramer and Shadow Action Crime Novel
Now Available on Amazon in paperback & Kindle version
If you love thrillers packed with action and adventure, then You Can Run is definitely for YOU!
U.S. Marines, Capt. Kramer and his dog Sgt. Shadow survive hell in Afghanistan — but worse awaits them back home.
"I had the privilege of reading this novel as a beta reader for Greg Smith, in exchange for my honest review.
HOLD ON FOLKS!!! YOU CAN RUN is not your average crime thriller. Full of crime, absolutely! A thrilling ride, most definitely! But Greg Smith takes it up a couple of notches, pulls you, the reader, into a dangerous, action-packed FBI operation. You enter the world of 2 U.S. Marines who offer their services to bring down a diabolical kingpin.
I highly recommend, with 5+ stars, YOU CAN RUN to anyone who's ready for a wild rush!"
Susan Pilski - October 2015
"This book is a true diamond in the rough of
self-published novels." David Bailey
Below is Chapter 1 for you to read.
She scrambled on her hands and knees, worming her way deep into the thick underbrush. Her lungs and throat burned from frantic breathing. The pain of branches and rocks tearing and bruising her skin went unfelt. Terror coursing through her young body immunized her senses to any injuries.
She bumped into the base of a tree, its rough bark scraping her face. Her arms wrapped around the trunk welcoming the sense of security offered. The girl shuffled around and leaned her back against the tree and drew her knees up to her chest.
She squeezed her eyes tight and listened.
Blood pounded in her ears. She struggled to dampen the infernal noise and gradually her hearing cleared. At first there was nothing. Suddenly a noise—a distant crackling. Her brow wrinkled in concentration as she worked to put a name to the sound. Her eyes flew open. Fire.
Despite the dense underbrush and the distance she had placed between herself and the house, she spotted the flickering light. Night lay thick and heavy all around her and there was no mistaking the flames reaching out through her bedroom window. Tears ran down her face and sobs racked her as images of her parents flashed before her mind's eye.
"Sarah. Time for bed, dear." Her mother had sent her off to bed early tonight because her father wanted to leave at first light tomorrow morning. It was to be the family's first vacation to Disney World and the young twelve year old was ecstatic, to say the least. She argued she didn't think she could sleep a wink but her mother still insisted she try.
Sleep must have snuck up on her because the house was totally dark when the crash of splintering wood jerked her wide-awake. At first she thought she dreamt the noise, but as she sat up in bed wondering, sound of glass shattering came from somewhere toward the front of the house. At the same moment the back door burst open.
She leapt out of bed and dashed to the bedroom door. Sarah remembered watching her mother ease it close and blowing her a goodnight kiss. Now she stood in the passage that ran the length of the house. Her parents' room lay directly opposite hers and she jumped back as her father threw their door open. He stared at her wild-eyed for a second, and swiveled his head back and forth as chaotic sounds came from both ends of the house.
"Get back in your room and close the door, Sarah," he hissed.
But before she could do as ordered something caught her father's attention and he turned from her. He was a large man, strongly built, and his frame almost blocked the whole passage but Sarah, peering around him, barely saw the figure of another man coming from the living room up front.
"What the dickens is going on?" her father shouted. "Who are you? What the hell do you want? You have no right—"
Everything seemed to happen at once.
Sarah's mother appeared. Her face contorted with fear, her eyes gaping in astonishment, her mouth a big 'O'. Sarah's father braced himself as the stranger charged at him. As the two collided in a melee of swinging fists, another man crashed into the pair. He must have come from the kitchen at the rear of the house.
Her mother screamed. Sarah screamed even louder. Her ear-piercing screech resounded in the passage, now a scene of an ugly brawl.
"Get out. Now!" Father's muffled shout came from inside the tangle of bodies on the floor.
Sarah's mother made to move around the fight to reach her but a hand lashed out, seized her ankle, and brought her crashing down hard. The woman's head struck the hardwood with a dull crack. A trickle of blood seeped across the corridor towards her as she stared in horror, transfixed.
"Grab the kid." The voice belonged to one of the house invaders.
A sudden thunderous roar rose out of the fighting and with herculean effort, father heaved himself up sending one of the strangers hurtling down the passage. The other pulled something dark and ugly from his belt.
An explosion filled the hallway. Sarah's hands flew to her ears as she let out a long, high-pitch shriek. Her father toppled to the floor, but not before his shocked and sorrowful expression seared itself into the young girl's mind.
Toys and clothes littered her room but these she simply ran around or jumped over. She focused on her bedroom window—her only avenue of escape .
Her hands grabbed the wooden frame and, using all her youthful strength, she hefted the window up and flung herself through into the night. Judo lessons at school came into play and she tucked and rolled as she hit the ground. She sprang to her feet and ran straight for the forest bordering the family property.
Now, hunkered down and shivering from shock and fear, the girl was mesmerized by the sight of her home burning. Regarded as inquisitive by everyone who knew her, Sarah always had a question to pose. Even as her tears glistened in the glow of the fire her mind raced.
If the strangers were after her why hadn't they simply come through her bedroom window? Why did they break into the house so savagely? And why, oh why, did they have to hurt her parents like they did?
A man emerged from the house. Instinctively Sarah froze; every muscle taut. Only her eyes moved. They followed the man as he walked the edge of the flames, his figure silhouetted against the fiery glare. He reached the area where Sarah's bedroom used to be and stared at the conflagration. He glanced up as his partner came from around the rear of the house and joined him.
The two men stood for a long moment, gesturing at the fire and each other. Sarah guessed from their body language they were angry, probably at how the night's events had turned out. One of the men looked down, fingers scratching his chin as if he were in deep thought. Suddenly his whole body stiffened and he dropped to one knee. He touched the ground with his fingertips and his head turned slowly as his eyes tracked a line of some sort.
His arm rose and pointed straight at the tree. Right where Sarah hid.
Fear seized her. She could not breathe. Cold sweat appeared along her hairline and trickled down her chest. Her stomach lurched and the sudden urge to vomit swept over her as bile boiled up her throat. She shot to her feet. She had to run, had to—.
A man blocked her escape. Someone she hadn't seen before. He grabbed a handful of her hair.
"Gotcha, ya little minx," he hissed close to her ear, and louder, "Over here, guys. I have the kid. She ain't going nowhere."
5.0 out of 5 stars
By Linda Strong on June 28, 2016 Format: .mobi
I could hardly put this one down! Excellent! I especially loved the helicopter crew's names :-) Here;s my review.. and links.
YOU CAN RUN (KRAMER & SHADOW, BK 2) by GREG SMITH
Captain Kramer and his 4-footed body guard, Corporal Shadow are back with a vengeance. The two Marines are once again working with the FBI, which is no hardship for Kramer. Since his last bout with the FBI, he’s in a relationship with the beautiful FBI Agent Ashley.
This time they are looking for a human trafficking group. Several young girls have been taken ..from their bedrooms at night, from a bus stop in broad daylight. They are taken away in a green van that seems to disappear after each snatch and grab. Meanwhile, the two leaders of the group who was responsible for dog-fighting and drug dealing escaped during the last roundup. They seem to be back in business and this time Kramer and Ashley swear to take them down.
Both these cases seem to converge, leading to lots of explosive, compelling action with thrills and chills.
I thought the first book was really good ,,, this one is even better. I would like to mention how much I enjoy the author’s humor. It sort of snuck up and slapped me in the face.
On a very daring helicopter ride, the reader is introduced to the crew. They play a small part .. but a very important part. Chief Pilot Captain ROBERT GODDARD. Co-Pilot LEE CHILD. Crew Chief Sgt SHARON BOLTON. CPL JIMMY (JAMES) PATTERSON, the Marine manning the machine gun.
A solid 5 Stars from me. I am really looking forward the third book in this series. Many, many thanks to the author who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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5.0 out of 5 stars
Hold On To Your Seats and
Prepare for the Landing
By L. Johnson on April 2, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition
"You know the difference between bravery and courage? Bravery is born out of danger. Courage is something else", words that form in the head of a young woman who is soon going to learn that finite difference. For young girls are disappearing, snatched right under their families nose, some as if they'd just disappeared, some with a violence that rips the family asunder. There are no ransom notes and it's an organized effort that has the F.B.I. at odds with their next steps. In comes Captain Kramer, a U.S. Marine who participated in an F.B.I. undercover operation with his K9 Shadow in a previous book by this author. The book is crafted well enough that you don't need the backstory to get right into the plot, but it was good to see Captain Kramer again, caught up in a plot even more riveting than the last as some dark forces he thought were at rest decide they’re not quite done with him yet. He's not sure he wants to be involved, his mantra as a military leader being “decide, delegate and disappear”. But he is not lost to the anguish of the girl’s families, having seen such loss while serving in a war zone and beautiful F.B.I. Special Agent Ashley Hunter is making it harder to say no. With plot twists and turns and enough action for two books, be prepared for a riveting ride from this skilled storyteller.
5.0 out of 5 stars
By Charles W. Jones, Author http://bizzarofiction.org/
on April 23, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition
In the last week, I had the pleasure of reading You Can Run by Greg Smith as a Beta Reader. It is a crime novel, which to be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect being the first book of this genre I’ve read. Before I started reading, I envisioned TV Dramas like Law & Order or NCIS. But, as I started reading my preconceptions were dashed away. While there were similarities, I cannot say how much I wish the TV shows were like this, they’d be so much better.
The second thing which occurred to me as it loaded on my Surface Kindle App was that it was the second in a series. Uh-oh I thought, I’m not going to have any idea about the characters or what has brought them to this installment. Well, I shouldn’t have worried about anything, Greg filled me in on a little of the background from the previous book “The Pits”–which I have downloaded, but haven’t started yet. I’ll let you know on that one in the future–but not too much. I met the lead characters and had no trouble tracking who they are or understanding their motivations; that goes for the antagonist characters as well.
After all my preconceived notions were put to rest, I settled into the story and was blown away with the building of events that explode into life (just a small spoiler). Kramer and his dog Shadow are bad-asses. The action is exciting and fast-paced. There’s suspense and thrills I didn’t expect. Oh, and, he threw in a nice bit of romance.
After reading, I put together a write up for Greg, and also posted it to the book’s page on Amazon. Now that a few days have gone by, I don’t think I did You Can Run the justice it deserved, though I gave it 5 Stars, my write-up wasn’t enough, which is why I am writing this post. (I’ve included the write-up below.)
“This is the first “crime” novel I’ve read, and wasn’t sure of what to expect. Then I saw this wasn’t the first adventure of Kramer and Shadow and was a little worried I’d be lost, but that was quickly dashed away. The characterizations are excellent, I met the leads and had no trouble tracking who they are and understand their motivations; that goes for the antagonist characters as well. The story was solid and had enough background from the first installment I never felt like I didn’t know what was happening. There are great twists and unexpected action which kept my attention, and interested me to want to read the Pits, which I have already downloaded. Great job. I look forward to reading more of your work.”
Even if “Crime” isn’t your genre, I highly suggest taking a look at Greg Smith’s work. For more information on Greg and his works, please visit his website at http://gregsmith-writer.weebly.com/ and find You Can Run on Amazon.
5.0 out of 5 stars
By Paula A. on April 25, 2016 Format: Kindle Edition
At first I didn't think I was going to like this book as I don't like reading about the military. Was I ever wrong. There actually isn't much about the military in it. The best part is the dog who is a Marine. Helping out the FBI on a task force for missing girls. I hope this doesn't really happen but it probably does. I liked the names of some of the drivers/pilots. Very funny. There is some humor too. Can't be serious all of the time. Can be quite graphic at times. Very sad at other times. I enjoyed reading this book very much and the ending was good but sad too. If you like action then this is the book for you.
4.0 out of 5 stars
By Diana Febry on June 8, 2016 Format: Kindle
I recommend this book to anyone who loves crime thrillers and especially readers who enjoy fast paced/action-packed reads and/or FBI procedurals.
When I was a few chapters in I did think to myself I'm not sure how much I'm going to enjoy this book because although it's well-written I had a sense that this is 'one for the boys.' As I read on and became more and more involved with the story, I moderated that thought. I still think this is a book that will especially appeal to male readers but I ended up thoroughly enjoying the read. This is book 2 of a series but I haven't the read the first book and it works perfectly as a stand alone.
The main characters are Krammer, a marine and his dog Shadow who have been seconded to the FBI. The villan is Valdiron, a major crime boss involved in the trafficking of teenage girls. The chase is on but the tension between Kramer and Valdiron is increasingly personal.
Some great action scenes, especially the car chases, good build-up of suspense and interesting plot twists. This is a book that does become hard to put down. A high death count and lots of guns but also some lighter moments, especially concerning the dog, Shadow. I have a lovely image of him in the front passenger seat of a convertible during a dangerous car chase enjoying the wind blowing his ears.
3.0 out of 5 stars
By Brandon Collier on June 11, 2016 Format: Kindle
You Can Run is a good guy/bad guy theme novel regarding a chase for the capture of Valdiron and his human smuggling/trafficking ring. I know this topic well, even writing about it twice, and the author does a good job detailing the atrocities involved that most do not know about. I wish it was more highlighted as the characters involved quickly became afterthoughts. The protagonist is Kramer, a clean cut Marine with his dog Shadow. He seems like the standard military type but has a mysterious past which makes him more likable His love interest is bland. There is not much in the way of character growth as the story is highlighted by the chase. There is good action in the story and it keeps you turning the pages. The story mainly takes place in San Diego which happens to be my hometown. As far as descriptions of locale, it’s pretty spot on. If you are a fan of the military and their culture, you will like the good guys vs bad guys dynamic, and having no middle ground. The story flows well and is like an episode of Criminal Minds or NCIS at first.
The downside- there are a few grammatical errors, unneeded race references when race was already established for a character as well as a name, then roughly two hundred pages later we get- "The Latino backhanded her savagely"(sigh) and many other mentions of Latino without any need to do so, numbers not spelled out as words, and confusing statements such as- “bright intelligent hazel eyes” What makes eyes intelligent? Also, I think the antagonist has too much of an cartoonish evil side and makes brash decisions that would have never let him rise to the top without a supporting cast. I don’t know many criminal masterminds that would put hits on Marines that are working with federal agents in America and their families. Then film the kidnapping on national television! Only a suicidal terrorist against the US government would do that. Not a very good strategy. Once again, the action is quite good in the last chapters. There is a slight twist at the end that is a bit surprising.
All in all, if you are looking for a "let’s get the bad guy Chuck Norris/Charles Bronson style" book with action, this one is for you.
3.0 out of 5 stars
By Charles on April 12, 2016 Format: Kindle
I am a fan of the military/crime thriller and this one has a fundamental difference from others that gives it a lot of potential. Captain Kramer is a U. S. Marine and Shadow is his extremely intelligent canine sidekick. In the previous book the team of two was temporarily assigned to the FBI to aid in tracking down Valdiron and Shelley Harper, the leaders of a powerful international criminal organization. While their plans were foiled in the first book, the two crime bosses survived and it is time for round two of their deadly dance.
What I disliked about this book and some others in this genre is that the plot simply goes beyond what is reasonable in depicting the capability or influence of the main character. In this case, a multi-million dollar jet is essentially sacrificed and several lives put at risk for what amounts to very little gain. The people that should have more sense acquiesce to the will of Kramer, they simply look at his face and agree to what he wants to do. It was just too much for me, following that plot line took too much suspension of disbelief. Furthermore, Vladiron proves to be too much of a super-villain and a bit stupid, no one that reached his position where he orders people captured and sometimes killed would operate on such emotional whims.
Other than that, the book moves along fairly well and keeps the reader’s interest. It would have been a better book if what is equivalent to mind tricks perpetrated by Kramer was not part of the plot. They really were not necessary, simple alterations in the timeline would have eliminated the need for Kramer having such a powerful influence over others.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.