- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Snowbooks Ltd (Jan. 2 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1905005261
- ISBN-13: 978-1905005260
- Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.2 x 18 cm
- Shipping Weight: 181 g
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,496,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Darkness Gathers Paperback – Jan 2 2006
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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 alternate Paperback edition.
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 alternate Paperback edition.
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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.
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."
Less description, more action -- especially if the author uses the omniscient viewpoint, where we readers are like outsiders watching a show. And description can be presented with action.
My other quibbles:
We're told over and over again that Lydia has a special sense -- but it's not clear how she uses that sense in her work. Anyone who receives an anonymous tape, referring to a kidnapped girl, might be just a wee bit curious!
I had trouble with the far-flung plot -- Albanian kidnappings tied in with a villain from Lydia's dark past. I'd also like to see more sides to Lydia and Jeffrey. Instead of tagging along on Lydia's hare-brained ideas, Jeffrey needs to work his own caseload. He comes across as a little wimpy -- chasing after a woman who has her own agenda. Lovesick is fine for a tale or two but at some point we need gumption!
These two need to get into a solid fight and stop speaking sometime! If Jeffrey wants a relationship, he'd better start poking around...and let Lydia sulk and question her own feelings. And I didn't buy the detective opening his heart and files to two out-of-towners, just like that.
The author has talent and imagination. With a heavy dose of editing, and some complexity of character development, her next book could be a breakthrough.
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