cover image Running Dark

Running Dark

Jamie Freveletti, Morrow, $24.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-168424-1

Freveletti rummages in the thriller pantry and comes up with an armful of standard ingredients for her unremarkable second novel featuring chemist Emma Caldridge (after Running from the Devil). Shortly after Emma is blown off her feet by a car explosion while running in a South African ultramarathon, a stranger injects her arm with a drug, then disappears. Emma recovers and finishes the 55mile race in record time. To solve this mystery, she turns to her friend Edward Banner, head of Darkview, an American security company. The cast of characters eventually includes a Somali pirate, Khalil Mungabe; his boss, "The Vulture"; Richard Stark, CEO of the shady Price Pharmaceuticals; and Emma's love interest, Cameron Sumner, a private security agent aboard the cruise liner Kaiser Franz. The action heats up once Emma gets on the liner and starts battling Somali pirates, but weak plotting and contrived situations make it hard to suspend disbelief. (July)