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Darker Than Any Shadow: A Tai Randall Mystery    by Tina Whittle order for
Darker Than Any Shadow
by Tina Whittle
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Tai Randolph runs her uncle's gun shop in Atlanta. Her childhood BFF, Rico, is competing for a national slam poetry title, which would bolster his ego immensely but also fill his wallet to capacity. It's summer, it's hot and humid, and the city is overrun with tourists and poetry lovers as well as contestants for the crown in poetry.

Of course, a poet is murdered! His talent couldn't have been that bad. Tai is already known to the police. She becomes not quite a suspect but then again, maybe so. Her new relationship with Trey Seaver is fraught; she's dealing with a man who is a human lie detector but who can also kill with his bare hands. She is learning to handle a survivor of a terrible accident who is left with unusual abilities as well as a complete turnaround in how he conducts his private life. Interesting plot twist.

At any rate, finding the killer becomes Tai's main focus, against Trey's objections. He thinks she places herself in jeopardy unnecessarily. With Tai's go-for-it personality, he is right. She plunges in, and the action that had already been moving nicely picks up and races ahead. Rico is almost sure to be the leading suspect. Did he do the deadly deed?

I like the personalities that Tina Whittle has created. Both the good and the bad. Darker Than Any Shadow is a fun book by an author who definitely knows how to capture readers' attention and won't let go. Clues litter the pages. Fortunately Tai's body does not - she survives, so there will be more of Tai's adventures.

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