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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, set in New Zealand, Kelley Tantau’s The Runaway Man follows Nick Greene and his efforts to start a new life alone, but he starts to question whether starting afresh is worth the effort.

The Runaway Man by Kelley Tantau on The Table Read Magazine
The Runaway Man by Kelley Tantau

The Runaway Man

Kelley Tantau’s The Runaway Man is a fast-paced and intriguing narrative that follows the story of Nick Greene, and his decision to walk away from the here and now, and start life afresh.

Set in the beauty of Tantau’s native New Zealand, there is clearly more to her protagonist than simply a man who wants a fresh start, prompting readers to wonder whether taking such drastic action could ever be worth the repercussions and consequences that lay in its wake.

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When Nick Greene flees the life he’s known in exchange for his quaint town’s rugged forest park, he hopes to achieve a life of peace. But when a curious fisherman foils his tranquillity, Nick’s missing persons case turns into a manhunt.

Heading to the neighbouring city of Abercrombie, Nick finds refuge in a run-down motel known for taking in hopeless cases. But little does he know that a fatigued detective from his hometown is hunting him down, determined to redeem himself after his first and only missing persons case back in 1997 ended in disaster.

Inspired by the southern hemisphere’s flora and fauna, The Runaway Man is the first in a series that traverses from rural backwater to beach to vibrant city, telling the stories of those who seek new lives, and the people they leave behind. 

Keen to point out that no heroes feature in her novel, simply well-intentioned characters with their own agendas, and using her journalistic skills to showcase her creativity and incite curiosity and compassion from her readers, this first published work by Kelley Tantau (and launchpad for her planned series) is both plausible and beautifully crafted, delivering a compelling read that is as much about humanity as it is a mystery.

Kelley Tantau

The major theme throughout The Runaway Man is the idea of how a person or persons can vanish seemingly without a trace. Even in small towns and small countries, the story shows how it is possible to lay low and start life afresh, but doing so comes with anxiety and repercussions. Is it worth it, in the end?

The environment is also a consistent theme throughout the book, highlighting one character’s connection with the natural flora and fauna, and how, ultimately, its strength betrays him. 

The protagonist is also an unreliable narrator and readers should be cautious about his motives, thoughts, and memories.

-Kelley Tantau

Kelly Tantau on The Table Read Magazine
Kelly Tantau

New Zealand-based journalist and writer, Kelley Tantau spends each day telling the stories of others. She has enjoyed the last seven years constructing life histories, factual articles, and entertainment reviews, and has now authored her debut novel The Runaway Man.

After spending her formative years writing short stories, plays, and poems, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Waikato, majoring in Writing Studies in 2016.

The #1 Writing Tool

Five months before graduating, Kelley started her career as a community print journalist, writing articles of local and national significance for one of New Zealand’s leading news agencies. She now resides in Paeroa with her husband, dog, and blind rabbit, and continues to be a community reporter for the award-winning local rag, her work for which has won her the titles of Best Senior News Journalist, at the Community Newspaper Association Awards 2023, and Joint Runner-Up for Community Journalist of the Year, at the NZ Voyager Media Awards 2023.

When she’s not brainstorming story ideas on the computer or in her head, Kelley can be found yelling at the TV while watching sports, spending time with her family, and peeking at crossword clues.

Find more from Kelley Tantau now:

Kindle: https://amzn.to/3uy6xd7

Paperback: https://amzn.to/3SZtj7V

Facebook:  Kelley Tantau

Instagram:  @kelleytantau

Twitter: @kelleytantau

TikTok: @ktantauwriter

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