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US Books Received- 07/2010  Next Month / Last Month
In order to provide timely reviews, we prefer to receive Advance Reader Copies of books when possible. Send books to Gayle Surrette / Editor c/o Gumshoe 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613


Closet Confidential (A Charlotte Adams Mystery) by Mary Jane Maffini (Berkley 06 July 2010 / $6.99) - Product Description: Fourth in the series featuring organizer and amateur sleuth Charlotte Adams, following Death Loves a Messy Desk. A friend hires Charlotte to organize her closets and prove that her daughter's accident was murder. And now Charlotte has to get a house-and her suspects-in order. (Source: Berkley)

Death by Diamonds (A Vintage Magic Mystery) by Annette Blair (Berkley 06 July 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: Madeira Cutler loves her Vintage Magic boutique, but the 'visions' she gets from the garments can be hard to handle, especially when she knows the owner. At first she's thrilled to receive a package containing the beautifully bejeweled dress she designed for actress and old friend Dominique Delong while in fashion school. But the dress comes with a disturbing message from Dominique, who it seems took her last bow under very mysterious circumstances. (see review)

Delicious and Suspicious (A Memphis BBQ Mystery) by Riley Adams (Berkley 06 July 2010 / $6.99) - Product Description: Welcome to Aunt Pat's barbecue restaurant, which serves up Memphis fun with a side order of murder. Recipes included.

Named in honor of Lulu Taylor's great aunt, Aunt Pat's family-run Memphis restaurant is known for its ribs and spicy cornbread. But now the Taylor family will be known for murder...

Rebecca Adrian came to Memphis to suss out the best local BBQ for a prominent Cooking Channel Show. Trouble is, a mystery ingredient has killed her-and now all fingers are pointing to Aunt Pat's restaurant. Horrified that her family is being accused of murder, Lulu fires up her investigative skills to solve the crime before someone else gets skewered. (Source: Berkley)

Feline Fatale (A Kendra Ballantine, Pet-Sitte) by Linda O. Johnston (Berkley 06 July 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: While visiting her friend Wanda, Kendra Ballantyne sets off a squabble over the building's animal policy. One week later, an anti-pet board member is found dead in Wanda's apartment. Now, Kendra must start sniffing around for the real killer. (Source: Berkley)

Nine Lives Last Forever (Cats and Curios Mystery) by Rebecca M. Hale (Berkley 06 July 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: When frogs begin appearing in the antiques shop Rebecca has inherited from Uncle Oscar, her cats Rupert and Isabella instantly give chase. But why are frogs also turning up in San Francisco's City Hall building? And what does her late uncle's mysterious note to "follow the frogs" mean?

Soon Rebecca is caught up in the chase herself, along with a crazy crew of her uncle's oddball friends-as well as his oldest enemy. With rumors of hidden gold, political conspiracies, faked deaths, and cold-blooded betrayal in the air, she has to try hard not to leap to any conclusions until she and her kitties can uncover the truth, warts and all... (Source: Berkley)

The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree by Susan Wittig Albert (Berkley 06 July 2010 / $24.95) - Product Description: From the national bestselling author of the China Bayles mysteries- a brand-new series about some spunky lady sleuths in Depression-era Alabama.

The country may be struggling through the Great Depression, but the ladies of Darling, Alabama, are determined to keep their chins up. Their garden club-The Darling Dahlias-has a clubhouse, a garden, a flag, and a weekly column in The Darling Dispatch written by their own Miss Elizabeth Lacy. Unlike their snooty rivals-Sisters of the Spade- they welcome members from across the social spectrum. What better way to know everything there is to know about everyone in town?

But when a treasure trove of sterling silver is found buried under the town's famous Cucumber Tree, two of the Dahlias claim ownership, which leads to some very unladylike behavior. And the unpleasant discovery of an unknown young woman's body on a hill outside of town points to even worse behavior. If anyone can get to the root of these mysteries, it's the Darling Dahlias. (Source: Berkley)

The Long Quiche Goodbye (Cheese Shop Mystery) by Avery Aames (Berkley 06 July 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: Welcome to the grand opening of Fromagerie Bessette. Or as it's more commonly known by the residents of small-town Providence, Ohio-the Cheese Shop. Proprietor Charlotte Bessette has prepared a delightful sampling of bold Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, delicious tortes of Stilton and Mascarpone, and a taste of Sauvignon Blanc-but someone else has decided to make a little crime of passion the piece de resistance. Right outside the shop Charlotte finds a body, the victim stabbed to death with one of her prized olive-wood handled knives. (Source: Berkley)

Tomb With a View (A Pepper Martin Mystery) by Casey Daniels (Berkley 06 July 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: Cemeteries come alive for amateur sleuth/reluctant medium Pepper Martin.
Cleveland's Garden View Cemetery is hosting a James A. Garfield commemoration. For tour guide and reluctant medium Pepper Martin this means that's he'll surely be hearing from the dead president himself. And when she's assigned to help plan the event with know-it-all volunteer and Garfield fanatic Marjorie Klinker, she'll wish Marjorie were dead...too bad someone beats Pepper to it. (Source: Berkley)


Stash by David Matthew Klein (Broadway 27 July 2010 / $14.99) - Product Description: Gwen Raine is a woman readers will instantly recognize: an attractive, thirtyish stay-at-home mom who lives in the kind of tranquil suburban community where the wives spend their days ferrying the kids to and from school and music lessons and nature camps and where the husbands work long, grueling hours at stressful white-collar jobs in order to maintain the upscale standard of living to which the whole family has become all-too-accustomed. It's a milieu in which everything seems to be right—yet so much can go wrong.

And it does—starting with a seemingly minor decision that turns Gwen's perfect life upside down. It's a typical Friday morning in late summer and Gwen is anticipating a long-awaited weekend away at the lake with her overworked husband, Brian, and their two small children. After dropping her daughter off at swim class, Gwen drives across town to purchase a small bag of marijuana from an old flame. She's counting on the pot to help her unwind later that night in those precious private moments with Brian after the kids are asleep. Then, on the way home, Gwen gets into a car accident—an accident that leaves her bruised and somewhat battered but leaves the other driver (an elderly man who crossed over into her lane) dead. The local police know the accident isn't her fault, but when they find the marijuana in Gwen's car, they throw the book at her. There have been problems with drugs in the schools and they want to crack down on abusers, whoever and wherever they are. Before long, Gwen is in legal hot water—and the temperature keeps rising. Finally, under pressure from the police, her attorney, and her own husband, she reveals her source's name.

Meanwhile, Brian is embroiled in a moral and legal dilemma of his own when the big pharmaceutical company he works for markets an anti-anxiety drug for "off-label" use as a weight-loss aid, only to discover that it can have deadly consequences. And Gwen's former lover Jude, a local restaurateur and the supplier of the stash of the title, has gotten in way over his head with his little side business. (Source: Broadway)

Forge Books

Betrayers (Nameless Detective Mysteries) by Bill Pronzini (Forge Books 06 July 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description:

We're told that there are seven deadly sins; not on the list is the deadliest of them all: Betrayal.  For each of the detectives at the agency, a betrayal--personal, against a child, against the elderly--becomes not only the driving force behind an investigation, but the source of the kind of resolve that cannot be derailed by threats of any kind.

Tamara's case began as something personal but explodes as her investigation of her former lover Lucas Zeller leads to a scam bilking charities in the name of helping the homeless and indigent.  For Nameless, with a case he doesn't want but can't turn down, trying to find out who is gaslighting an old woman only exposes the ugly side of family. When he goes home, tired and annoyed, he discovers that his adopted daughter, Emily, has a secret of her own. Runyon has a different difficulty: his case of a bailjumper with some bad family ties is easy enough as these things go, but he's being confronted by a demon that is going to try to force him into a betrayal....

Three people who care, three people devoted to helping others trying to help themselves, three people finding themselves in a world of hurt because of the betrayers.

(see review)

The Cabal (McGarvey) by David Hagberg (Forge Books 06 July 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: In Washington, CIA operative Todd Van Buren meets with a Washington Post investigative reporter who has uncovered strong evidence that a powerful lobbyist has formed a shadowy group called the Friday Club, a cabal whose members include high-ranking men inside the government: a White House adviser, a three star general at the Pentagon, deputy secretaries at the State Department, Homeland Security, the FBI and even the CIA.

That afternoon Van Buren, son-in-law of the legendary spy Kirk McGarvey, is brutally gunned down because of what he's been told. The same evening the reporter and his family are killed, all traces of the shadow group erased.

A grief stricken McGarvey is drawn into the most far-reaching and bizarre investigation of his career, the stakes of which could destabilize the U.S. government, and shake the foundations of the world financial order. (Source: Forge Books)

The Cold Kiss by John Rector (Forge Books 06 July 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: All Nate and Sara want is a new life in a new town, away from the crime and poverty of their past. So, after being approached at a roadside diner by a man offering $500 for a ride to Omaha, they wonder if their luck might be changing.

At first it seems like easy money, but within a few hours the man is dead.

Now, forced off the road by a blizzard and trapped in a run-down motel on the side of a deserted highway, Nate and Sara begin to uncover the man's secrets. Who he was, how he died, and most importantly, why he was carrying two million dollars in his suitcase.

Before they know it, Nate and Sara are fighting for their lives, and in the end, each has to decide just how far they are willing to go to survive. (see review)


Intent to Kill: A Novel of Suspense by James Grippando (Harper 01 July 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: Accidents happen . . . Ryan James' promising baseball career was derailed before it even got started—when a hit-and-run driver killed his wife, Chelsea, leaving Ryan alone to care for their beautiful little girl. Now, three years later, he's a popular sports radio host in Boston, still haunted by a tragic crime that was never solved.

But this was no accident

Then, on the anniversary of Chelsea's death, Ryan receives a chilling message from an anonymous tipster: "I know who did it." The shocking revelation that it may have come from Chelsea's autistic younger brother sets Ryan on a twisted path toward a shattering truth that threatens Ryan, his daughter, and everyone around them.

(Source: Harper)

Shattered: The True Story of a Mother's Love, a Husband's Betrayal, and a Cold-Blooded Texas Murder by Kathryn Casey (Harper 01 July 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: In Creekstone, Texas, a small, quiet suburb of Houston, football was king . . . and David Temple was a prince. A former high school and college gridiron star-turned-coach, he had a fairy-tale marriage to bright, vivacious Belinda Lucas, a teacher at the local high school who was so warm and popular her colleagues called her "The Sunshine Girl."

The fairy tale ended savagely on January 11, 1999, when Belinda's lifeless body was discovered in a closet. Her skull had been shattered by a shotgun blast at close range. She was eight months pregnant.

There was no damning evidence directly linking the brutal murder to husband David, who stood by emotionless and dry-eyed as police searched the crime scene. But a dogged eight-year investigation would expose a shocking history of cruelty and domination, infidelity and rage—ultimately resulting in an epic courtroom battle for the ages—as the scandalous truth was revealed about love betrayed and innocent lives . . . shattered.

(Source: Harper)

Minotaur Books

A Brush with Death (Penny Brannigan) by Elizabeth J. Duncan (Minotaur Books 20 July 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: When Penny Brannigan inherits a charming, old-fashioned cottage in the North Wales town of Llanelen, she soon realizes she has come into more than what real estate agents like to describe as a desirable period property: She's also acquired memories, mystery, and an unsolved, decades-old crime.

As Penny sorts through the belongings of her benefactor, a deceased teacher, she comes upon a packet of letters from a promising young Liverpool artist, A. Jones, who was killed in an accident in 1970. An artist herself, Penny sets out to discover who killed this painter, and is helped by a small group of townsfolk, including her business partner, Victoria Hopkirk. While at a retrospective art exhibition in Liverpool, Penny recognizes what she believes to be a watercolor painted by Jones. But it is attributed to another artist, leading her to suspect that art theft was at the heart of the case, and that Jones's death was no accident. (see review)

Bad Samaritan: A Sister Agatha Mystery by Aimee Thurlo (Minotaur Books 06 July 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: Sister Agatha of the Our Lady of Hope monastery in Bernalillo, New Mexico has become reknowned—and occasionally infamous— for her crime solving skills. Now she must bring her skills to bear on her most important case yet—her friend and ally Sheriff Tom Green is a suspect in the brutal murder of his rival in the upcoming election. (Source: Minotaur Books)

Shadow Play: A Mystery by Rajorshi Chakraborti (Minotaur Books 20 July 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: An internationally renowned novelist and commentator, beloved and controversial in equal measure, has disappeared from public view. What's worse, the police want to question him about a murder; he was the last person to have met a young journalist who was later discovered dead.

Then his editor receives a package of papers in which the writer claims to explain his part in recent events and his reasons for not surfacing. The material includes chapters from his latest work of fiction about a serial killer turned hired assassin. Is the novelist right to believe that he is being hunted, or is it his past that has finally borne down to haunt him?

At once a multilayered mystery, a novel of ideas, and a love story that unfolds in three parts, Shadow Play presents a world where you have to discern the shadows from the ghosts, the paranoia from the persecution, and the fiction from the real. (see review)

The Bone Fire: A Mystery by Christine Barber (Minotaur Books 06 July 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: Every year, the people of Santa Fe gather together for the burning of a four-story-tall figure called Zozobra, a local custom that that takes place during the Fiesta de Santa Fe. Early the next morning, as the sounds of the Fiesta celebration still echo through the streets, skull is discovered in the ashes of Zozobra.

As Detective Sergeant Gilbert Montoya starts to investigate the case, disturbing displays of human bones begin appearing at religious sites around the city. With a possible psychopath on the loose, Gil goes to newspaper editor Lucy Newroe for help to find the person responsible in a case that will take them into the highest and lowest levels of Santa Fe society. (Source: Minotaur Books)

The Drowning River by Christobel Kent (Minotaur Books 06 July 2010 / $24.99) - From back of book: One wet November in Florence, the grieving widow of an eminent Jewish architect comes to visit Sandro Cellini--a disgraced ex-policeman recently turned PI--to ask him to investigate her husband's suicide. There seems to be no doubt that Claudio Gentileschi, a Holocaust survivor and lifelong depressive took his own life. But as Cellini doggedly retraces the architect's last hours, a young English woman is discovered missing from the city's community of hard-drinking, high-living art students. Now amidst the city's worst rain in decades, Sandro's search turns into something grimmer and more urgent than he could have imagined. (see review)

The Past Is a Foreign Country: A Thriller by Gianrico Carofiglio (Minotaur Books 20 July 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: As world-weary Lieutenant Chiti spends sleepless nights hunting for the serial rapist terrorizing his city, trainee lawyer Giorgio is befriended by dangerously charismatic Francesco. Slowly the innocent Giorgio is lured into a corrupt world of beautiful women and casual violence. Then one terrifying night Giorgio is forced to realize just how far he has left his past behind. (see review)


Mr. Monk is Cleaned Out by Lee Goldberg (NAL 06 July 2010 / $22.95) - Product Description: Monk's been swindled out of his savings-but now it's payback time, in the latest original mystery featuring everyone's favorite OCD detective.

In the midst of a financial crisis, the SFPD fires Adrian Monk as a consultant. Monk figures he can live off his savings for a while. Then Natalie learns that Monk invested his money some time ago with Bob Sebes, the charismatic leader of Reinier Investments, who's just been arrested on charges of orchestrating a massive $100 million fraud. All of Sebes' clients-including Monk-are completely wiped out.

When the key witness in the government's case against Sebes is killed, Monk is convinced that Sebes did it, but the man has been under house arrest with a horde of paparazzi in front of his building 24/7. Monk may be broke, but he's got plenty of time on his hands to solve this latest mystery... (see review)

Orchard Books

The Final Meeting (Sherlock Holmes And The BSI) by Tracy Mack & Michael Citrin (Orchard Books 01 July 2010 / $6.99) - Product Description: The Baker Street Irregulars are back on the case as master detective Sherlock Holmes sets an elaborate trap to capture the wicked Professor Moriarty and dismantle his criminal organization, at last! But Moriarty has his own plans.

In their final adventure, the Irregulars face the greatest challenge of their careers. The quest will take them, for the first time, out of England and on a thrilling chase across Continental Europe. Will Holmes and the Irregulars succeed or fall prey to the most dangerous man in all of England?


Corduroy Mansions: A Novel by Alexander Mccall Smith (Pantheon 13 July 2010 / $24.95) - Product Description: Corduroy Mansions is the affectionate nickname given to a genteel, crumbling mansion block in London's vibrant Pimlico neighborhood and the home turf of a captivating collection of quirky and altogether McCall-Smithian characters. There's the middle-aged wine merchant William, who's trying to convince his reluctant twenty-four-year-old son, Eddie, to leave the nest; and Marcia, the boutique caterer who has her sights set on William. There's also the (justifiably) much-loathed Member of Parliament Oedipus Snark; his mother, Berthea, who's writing his biography and hating every minute of it; and his long-suffering girlfriend, Barbara, a literary agent who would like to be his wife (but, then, she'd like to be almost anyone's wife). There's the vitamin evangelist, the psychoanalyst, the art student with a puzzling boyfriend and Freddie de la Hay, the Pimlico terrier who insists on wearing a seat belt and is almost certainly the only avowed vegetarian canine in London.

Filled with the ins and outs of neighborliness in all its unexpected variations, Corduroy Mansions showcases the life, laughter and humanity that have become the hallmarks of Alexander McCall Smith's work. (see review)


A Glimpse of Evil (Psychic Eye Mysteries, No. 8) by Victoria Laurie (Signet 06 July 2010 / $7.99) - Product Description: Professional psychic Abigail Cooper is about to discover that some cold cases are better off dead...

As the FBI's newest Civilian Profiler, Abby Cooper is using her powers of intuition to help solve a backlog of the bureau's cold cases. But when she's the only one who's convinced that several separate cold cases are related, she'll have to call on every intuitive bone in her body before she's the one put on ice... (see review)

Burn Notice: The Giveaway by Tod Goldberg (Signet 06 July 2010 / $6.99) - Product Description: Ex-covert op Michael Weston owes favors to Barry, the local money launderer. Now Barry wants to call those favors in. Barry has a friend, Bruce, who is an ex-legendary gentleman thief. But with an ailing mother to support, Bruce has returned to his illegal vocation. Unfortunately, his most recent job involved stealing from the notorious Ghouls motorcycle gang, and they're looking for some serious payback. Unless Michael can convince them otherwise... (Source: Signet)

Diva Las Vegas: A Soap Opera Mystery by Eileen Davidson (Signet 06 July 2010 / $6.99) - Product Description: Alexis Peterson is delighted when her friend, ex-Playboy Playmate Shana Stern, invites her to Hugh Hefner's infamous Halloween party. But the fun ends when, after a few drinks, Shana is found dead. Alex's investigation leads ger to a soap opera convention in Las Vegas, and bodies continue to pile up on the strip. She must catch this killer who is more vicious than any television critic... (see review)

Last Writes: A Forensic Handwriting Mystery by Sheila Lowe (Signet 06 July 2010 / $6.99) - Product Description: Claudia's friend Kelly learns that she's an aunt when her estranged half-sister Erin shows up in desperate need of help. Erin and her husband have been living as member of The Temple of Brighter Light in an isolated compound. Now Erin's husband and child have disappeared, leaving behind a cryptic note. Using her skills as a forensic handwriting expert, Claudia gains entry to the compound. She has only days to uncover the truth about Kelly's missing niece before a child's life is written off for good... (see review)

Soho Crime

Dark Dreams: A Commander Jana Matinova Investigation by Michael Genelin (Soho Crime 01 July 2010 / $14.00) - Product Description: Jana and Sofia were best friends when they were schoolmates. Now Jana is a commander in the Slovak police force and Sofia, having made a name as a reformer, is a member of parliament. Jana has fallen in love with an upright government prosecutor and Sofia is carrying on a notorious affair with a suave, married fellow MP.

One day Jana finds an enormous diamond gem dangling from a string fixed to the ceiling of the living room of her house. Was it put there as a present? Or, more likely, to entrap her? The answer leads Jana across Europe to unravel a criminal conspiracy involving multiple murders that has entangled her hapless, impulsive friend, Sofia, and which ultimately leads to the criminal mastermind.

(Source: Soho Crime)

The Magician's Accomplice: A Commander Jana Matinova Investigation by Michael Genelin (Soho Crime 01 July 2010 / $25.00) - Product Description: Devastated by her lover's death in an explosion—on the same day an indigent student was shot and killed in sleepy Bratislava—Jana is transferred to The Hague, headquarters of the international police force Europol. On the flight she encounters a retired magician, the dead student's uncle, who is determined to help Jana investigate his nephew's death. And his help is indeed needed as Jana faces an international criminal conspiracy emanating from Europol itself. (see review)

The Steam Pig: A Lieutenant Kramer and Detective Sergeant Mickey Zondi Investigation by James McClure (Soho Crime 01 July 2010 / $14.00) - Product Description: In the debut mystery featuring Lieutenant Kramer and Detective Sergeant Mickey Zondi set in South Africa, a beautiful blonde has been killed by a bicycle spoke to the heart, Bantu gangster style. It's up to Lieutenant Kramer and Sergeant Zondi to figure out who killed her and why. (Source: Soho Crime)

Sons of Liberty

Chasing Curves: A Ronan Marino Mystery by Lloyd L. Corricelli (Sons of Liberty 01 July 2010 / ) - From back of book: When college pitching phenom Ty Wallace is accused of merdering his prospective agent's secretary, the ballplayer's father enlists Ronan Marino to clear his son and uncover the real killer. Working the hardscrabble streets of Lowell and the upscale Boston Back Bay neighborhood, Ronan uncovers a series of clues leading him right into a web of blackmail, gambling and sex; a conspiracy seemingly directed by his boyhood idol, a former Red Sox player and his partner in crime, a renegade gangster aiming to wrestle control of the Boston family from Ronan's uncle.

Ronan has problems of his own to contend with too, primarily a teetering relationship with his doctor girlfriend, who is not appreciative of the risks he takes and his mob family ties. Complicating matters is the new female chief of police at the university, who Ronan sees as not only his female mirror image but a potentially perfect crime fighting and romantic match. (Source: Sons of Liberty)

St. Martin's Griffin

Murder at Mansfield Park: A Novel by Lynn Shepherd (St. Martin's Griffin 20 July 2010 / $14.99) - Product Description: In this ingenious new twist on Mansfield Park, the famously meek Fanny Price--whom Jane Austen's own mother called "insipid"--has been utterly transformed; she is now a rich heiress who is spoiled, condescending, and generally hated throughout the county. Mary Crawford, on the other hand, is now as good as Fanny is bad, and suffers great indignities at the hands of her vindictive neighbor. It's only after Fanny is murdered on the grounds of Mansfield Park that Mary comes into her own, teaming-up with a thief-taker from London to solve the crime.

Featuring genuine Austen characters--the same characters, and the same episodes, but each with a new twist--MURDER AT MANSFIELD PARK is a brilliantly entertaining novel that offers Jane Austen fans an engaging new heroine and story to read again and again. (Source: St. Martin's Griffin)

St. Martin's Press

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens (St. Martin's Press 06 July 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: On the day she was abducted, Annie O'Sullivan, a thirty-two-year-old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all. Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor. The truth doesn't always set you free. Still Missing is that rare debut find—a shocking, visceral, brutal, and beautifully crafted novel. (Source: St. Martin's Press)

William Morrow

Running Dark: A Novel by Jamie Freveletti (William Morrow 01 July 2010 / $24.99) - Product Description: Emma Caldridge is on mile thirty-six of the fifty-five-mile Comrades ultramarathon in South Africa when a roadside car bomb explodes. Dazed and disoriented, she regains consciousness after the blast to find a man standing over her with a white plastic injector. She feels the prick of a needle and the rush of medication under her skin, but before she can make a sound, the man is gone.

Shaken by the event and unsure of what substance was pumped into her, Emma calls the one person who can help her figure things out: Edward Banner of the security company Darkview. But Banner has his hands full with another emergency: Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden have attacked a cruise ship, and Darkview has been hired to assist with the rescue.

However, according to intelligence sources, the ship is carrying cargo far more valuable than wealthy passengers—something that could be a new weapon of unknown origin. Suspecting the weapon may be chemical in nature, Banner asks Emma to infiltrate the ship and use her professional expertise to identify it. Emma knows it's a risky job, one that she might not survive. But when she learns that special agent Cameron Sumner—a man who has saved her life in the past—is among the hostages, nothing will stop her from getting onboard, no matter what the cost.

(Source: William Morrow)

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