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Running Dark    by Jamie Freveletti order for
Running Dark
by Jamie Freveletti
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Jamie Freveletti, author of Running from the Devil, brings readers another high octane thriller, starring the same larger than life hero and heroine, in her exhilerating Running Dark, filled with fast and furious action.

It opens with a bang, literally, as Emma Caldridge runs the Comrades ultramarathon in South Africa. After a roadside car bomb throws her out of her shoes and to the ground, a man uses an EpiPen to inject her with an unknown substance that gives her an adrenaline rush and renewed energy.

Freveletti quickly introduces readers to two villains of the piece - Somalian pirate warlord Mungabe and his European ally, the Vulture. In exchange for Mungabe's targeting a particular ship and stealing its pharmaceutical cargo, the Vulture agrees to put American security company Darkview (whose anti-piracy efforts have been too successful for Mungabe's liking) out of business.

Another major sub-plot follows Southern Hemisphere Drug Defense Special Agent Cameron Sumner, who saved Emma's life in Running from the Devil. Vague intelligence suggested that drug-related trouble awaits the Kaiser Franz cruise liner, and Cameron is aboard to investigate - and also to protect him from drug cartel retaliation after his last assignment. Guess which ship Mungabe's pirates target? You got it.

Back in the U.S.A., Edward Banner, President and CEO of Darkview, has his own problems, first with a congessional investigation, then with surveillance and a vicious attack. He's asked to apply Darkview resources to relieve the Kaiser Franz, whose cargo might include vials of ricin. Banner asks Emma to get involved and assigns local operatives to help her make her way to the death ship, which is already under attack. She flies in by way of Mogadishu, 'Baghdad by the Sea.'

As Emma and Cameron fight pirates on the high seas (with a most unusual weapon at one point), senior U.S. officials begin to exhibit strange behaviors and the death count mounts. Freveletti masterfully ties all these plot threads together in a breathtaking conclusion. You have to seriously suspend disbelief while reading Running Dark, but once you do, you're all set for rousing entertainment. Don't miss it.

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