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The Darkness Gathers [Paperback]

Lisa Miscione
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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The Darkness Gathers: A Novel The Darkness Gathers: A Novel 4.7 out of 5 stars (10)
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Book Description

Jan. 2 2006 Lydia Strong Series
Fresh from a tour promoting her last book, reclusive true-crime writer Lydia Strong receives an anonymous cry for help, begging her to find and protect Tatiana Quinn. Maybe the plea strikes close to her heart; maybe her investigator’s intuition ignites. She takes it on. But this simple case of a missing teenager soon becomes much more. Someone wants Lydia to drop the case, someone anxious enough to engineer the reappearance of one of Lydia’s most dangerous adversaries. Now, in addition to tracing the roots of Tatiana’s disappearance on a trail across the country and eventually overseas, Lydia must find the man who wants her dead. “The suspense is almost unbearably high . . . an intelligent thriller, with a love story [that] adds a poignant and beautiful relief to the omnipresent evil that pervades the rest of the pages.” — New Mystery Reader
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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The Darkness Gathers + Smoke: A Novel + Twice: A Novel
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

After her well-received debut, Angel Fire (2002), Miscione stumbles in her second thriller to feature true-crime writer and part-time PI Lydia Strong. An anonymous plea for help sends Lydia and ex-FBI agent Jeffrey Mark, her lover and partner, to Miami to investigate the fate of young Tatiana Quinn, who has disappeared from her wealthy home where she lived with her stepfather Nathan Quinn and her Albanian mother. Miscione isn't afraid to think big, and her complicated plot throws her heroes into a case that involves Miami cops, the FBI, a cartel of immensely powerful and wealthy men, snuff films, girls sold into sexual slavery and plenty of enforcers. The action roils from New York to Miami, to Eastern Europe and back to New York with the body count steadily growing. The book's blend of glitz (the author drops brand names faster than you can say Dior), action and a strong female lead will appeal as long as readers are willing to forgive a plot that never begins to convince.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The second in Miscione's series featuring true-crime writer Lydia Strong is a winner. Just back from a book tour, Lydia hopes to spend time with her former-FBI beau, Jeffrey Mark, in their swanky New York City home. Then she opens the mail and finds a strange package containing a tape of a young girl named Tatiana crying for help, accompanied by an anonymous note pleading for Lydia to find the missing girl. She and Jeffrey are soon flying to Miami to meet with the detective in charge of the case. Tatiana's reticent Albanian mother and rich, powerful father hinder Lydia's investigation, as do unseen bad guys who try to shake her off the case. A complex adventure unfolds, involving the Albanian government and a serial killer from Lydia's past. With potential witnesses dropping dead (literally) at her feet, Lydia realizes that she is dealing with a much larger entity than a single kidnapper. An exciting story enriched by a glamorous writer-heroine who carries a Glock and knows how to use it. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It comes SO close.... April 24 2003
Darkness Gathers has many ingredients for success: an appealing heroine, the heroine's ambivalent relationship with a male love interest, colorful settings, and an intriguing opening salvo: a tape recording mailed anonymously to the heroine.
I really wanted to like this book, as we need more new authors and more detectives. And I hope the author takes the next step to write a breakout novel next time.
I'll let other reviewers describe the plot -- and I agree with those who say it's "ambitious," even audacious. What stopped me was pacing. I kept wanting to take my own blue pencil to the copy and cut, cut cut!
The book opens with a long flashback, which didn't seem necessary. Lydia's childhood traumas may have led her to become a journalist of crime, but that deserves a sentence or two. Think of Ranger Anna Pigeon in the Nevada Barr series. We learn early that the heroine was widowed early and tragically -- but from New York widowhood to Park Service Ranger is a story that was left untold for six or so volumes, and we didn't miss it.
After reading Sol Stein's books on writing, I've become more conscious of redundant words and phrases, so perhaps I'm overly sensitive. I noticed that Lydia wore a "jade black hair clip" in her "black hair." Um...what other type of clip would she wear? How about just "pulled into a knot with a shiny black clip?"
You can pick almost any page, if you're so inclined:
"He took hold of her hand and rolled over onto his back, displaying his enviable abs and pecs..."
Or "She reached over ... with fingers cool and moist from the sweating plastic cup she held.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars strong gritty tale April 15 2003
True crime writer Lydia Strong has won a Pulitzer Prize, but is most proud of her reputation as a supporter of the underdog. Following an author tour, she receives a tape from someone named Tatiana and a letter from an anonymous person asking Lydia to come to Miami to help Tatiana and "all the other girls in need of rescue". Lydia's sixth sense tells her this is no hoax and an Internet search leads to Tatiana Quinn, the stepdaughter of a wealthy Miami industrialist, who has disappeared without a trace.
Lydia and her significant other Jeffrey Mark fly to Miami and meet the local police detective in charge of the case. He wants their help because his investigation is going nowhere. When they interview the Quinns, they feel something is wrong in their reactions. They question the maid who is killed before she can give them any information and when her daughter meets with them she is murdered also. The Miami police, the FBI and the Albanian Mafia warn them off but they refuse to heed the advice. They remain determined to find Tatiana alive or dead, a decision that puts them in jeopardy many times over.
Lisa Miscione is a bright new star in the mystery constellation, a writer who tells a good story while creating characters that readers will care about. Romance fans will love THE DARKNESS GATHERS because interwoven into the dark and gritty story line is the beautiful relationship that just keeps getting stronger between Jeffrey and Lydia. This is only the author's second hook and it is not difficult to predict that Ms. Miscione will be tomorrow's superstar.
Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner April 5 2003
I recently read Lisa Miscione's first novel, 'Angel Fire' in which she introduces Lydia Strong and Jeffrey Mark. I was so impressed by that book that as soon as it was published I purchased 'The Darkness Gathers'. I'm often disappointed when I revisit charachters of whom I am fond because the second attempt is rushed and not as clever. This new Lydia Strong mystery does not dissappoint. It has the same crisp and somewhat dark style and well drawn characters. The story is suspenseful and intriguing. It takes the reader from the cool streets of New york to the hot Miami nights and to the ravaged country of Albania. The action never stops. I stayed up way too late to finish this one. I highly reccommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling! June 11 2003
I won't give a summary of the book, since that has been done, but suffice to say I found Miscione's portrayal of the chaos in Albania as well as the trafficking of women and girls into sexual slavery realistic and compelling. Distractors were the author's penchant for dropping brand-names throughout the book and the fact that Lydia's boyfriend willingly follows along, even when she places them into dangerous situations. And he should know better - he's a former FBI agent. But all in all, this is a good book and shows the author has done her research well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The second time is even better. April 29 2003
By A Customer
I read the first Lydia Strong story, "Angel Fire," and I had such a good time I got this next one the minute it came out. And I was pleased to find that the series (at least I sure hope it will be) is getting better all the time -- the relationship between Lydia and Jeffrey getting stronger, the stories even more complex and intriguing (and scary, too). Miscone takes on a lot in her plots, but she makes it all work beautifully in the end.
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