International intrigue and adventure combine in Running Dark, by Jamie Freveletti, the pulse-pounding sequel to Running from the Devil. Bestselling author Lee Child hailed Freveletti’s debut novel as, “Just terrific—full of thrills and tradecraft, pace and peril.” Now she brings back marathon runner and scientist Emma Caldwell in a gripping tale that combines terrorism, Somali pirates, and a possible chemical catastrophe as it races at breakneck speed into the most dangerous places in the world.
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.