Running Dark

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Biochemist and marathon runner Emma Caldridge is halfway through South Africa's Comrades ultra-marathon when a roadside car bomb explodes. When she wakes up, dazed and disoriented, a stranger is injecting her with an unknown substance that leaves her stronger than before. Then the man vanishes.

Emma wants answers, and turns to Edward Banner of the security company Darkview. But Banner's already got his hands full, thanks to the assault on a cruise ship by Somali pirates in the ...

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Running Dark: A Novel

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Overview

Biochemist and marathon runner Emma Caldridge is halfway through South Africa's Comrades ultra-marathon when a roadside car bomb explodes. When she wakes up, dazed and disoriented, a stranger is injecting her with an unknown substance that leaves her stronger than before. Then the man vanishes.

Emma wants answers, and turns to Edward Banner of the security company Darkview. But Banner's already got his hands full, thanks to the assault on a cruise ship by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden—a ship that carries a weapon, possibly chemical in nature, that he needs Emma to identify. And among the hostages is special agent Cameron Sumner—a man to whom Emma owes her life.

Emma knows this assignment is potential suicide. Still, nothing is going to prevent her from getting aboard the captured vessel. And this time, there'snowhere to run . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“This fast-paced thriller makes good use of a timely topic.”
Publishers Weekly
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)
Booklist on Running Dark
“This fast-paced thriller makes good use of a timely topic.”
Mystery Scene on Running Dark
“One entertaining read.”
Mystery Scene
“One entertaining read.”
Kirkus Reviews
Biochemist-cum-action hero Emma Caldridge, barely recovered from her frightening Colombian adventure in Running from the Devil (2009), is drafted by a Blackwater-like security firm to help save a cruise ship and its dangerous cargo from Somali pirates. In Running from the Devil, Freveletti's debut, Caldridge survived a plane crash in the Colombian jungle and aided the rescue of surviving passengers who were taken hostage by guerrilla soldiers. In this sequel, she is blown "out of her shoes" by a roadside car-bomb blast while running an ultramarathon in South Africa, but she finishes the race in full stride after someone injects her with a mysterious performance-enhancing substance. Before she can figure out who injected her, she is making her way to the Gulf of Aden on assignment from the security company, Darkview, to infiltrate the cruise ship and determine what is hidden in its cache of pharmaceuticals. It's a dangerous job: "Somalia has a way of devouring whatever falls in its path. But as Emma says, ?Who better than a chemist to figure this out?' " And how can she not become involved, what with the man who saved her in Colombia, attractive government agent Cameron Sumner, on the ship? Stocked with ruthless warlords, grenade-launching baddies, duplicitous middle men, a stoic pilot and, let's not forget, the deadly box jellyfish, the book is squarely in the Peter Benchley mode, only with a female hero front and center. But while it's efficiently plotted and competently written, it lacks involving characters and a compelling voice, and it often reads more like a blueprint for a movie than a novel. Decent story, by-the-numbers execution. Agent: Barbara Poelle/Irene Goodman Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061979293
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/29/2010
  • Pages: 483
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jamie Freveletti

Jamie Freveletti is a former trial lawyer, martial artist, and runner. She is the author of four books in her own Emma Caldridge series as well as Robert Ludlum's Covert One novel, The Janus Reprisal. She lives in Chicago.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Another exciting adventure mystery in the Emma Caldridge Running series!

    Running Dark is a new adventure for the characters introduced in the first novel of this series, Running with the Devil, although the way the story is told is very similar in both novels. Each character is working independently through interconnected aspects of the same evil plot. This book is different from many other genre novels in that there are really strong male AND female characters. I really liked that the author chose to keep Emma as a strong lead character and didn't just push her into a romantic cohort role. The author also expanded the role of Major Stromeyer into a more interesting character. The men are just as tough and fierce as they were in the first book. All of them are a wee bit unbelievable in their extreme awesomeness but as they are in extremely bad situations so that is probably good!
    The story itself is interesting, filled with many odd facts that make a reader feel somewhat smarter in the end. Timely with African politics, Somali pirates and pharmaceutical inventions, the story is exciting from start to finish. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good adventure mystery type novel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    action-packed African thriller

    Running the South African Comrades Ultramarathon, thirtyish chemist Emma Caldridge passes the fifty-eighth kilometer of the eighty-nine kilometer mile race when a nearby car bomb detonates. The explosion throws her ten feet in the air and out of her running shoes. A runner with a silver necklace shaped like an antelope stops to jab her with a needle before he races away. Emma looks around to see other dazed runners, notices the bad gash on her leg, but feeling a need to move that she assumes is partially caused by the drug injected into her, paranoid she puts on her sneakers and takes off at a pace way beyond anything she ever did before.

    At the finish line, Emma asks Karen of Price Pharmaceutical to test her blood while also calling her friend Edward Banner, head of the American security firm Darkview, to advise her. He is in the Gulf of Aden working a Somali pirate abduction of the Kaiser Franz cruise ship filled with wealthy patrons and allegedly a new chemical weapon. Banner asks Emma to join him in order for them to sneak on board and identify this chemical weapon. She already reluctantly agrees when she learns she has a personal incentive as Cameron Sumner whom she worked with Running From The Devil is a hostage.

    Over the top of the Drakensberg Mountains, Running Dark is an entertaining thriller that requires the reader to leave plausibility at the beginning of the ultramarathon. The story line is exciting and almost as fast as Emma runs the last thirty-one kilometers of the Comrades. Jamie Freveletti writes an action-packed African thriller as the Somali pirates and pharmaceutical misdeeds keep Emma and the reader hopping.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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