What would seem like a suspenseful story really wasn't for me.
Oct 21, 2010
This novel is chockful of dangerous situations almost from beginning to end. One would think, then, that it would have been extremely easy to stay interested in the story and to not want to put the book down. For me, this was NOT the case. Especially from about the halfway point until shortly before the end, I had to force myself to pick up the book from my nightstand every night. It sat in my car for a week or two, untouched. Trust me, if it was THAT exciting a book, I would have taken the time to go get it from the car and keep reading it.
The writing is fine--neither unsually bad nor unusually good. There is a lot of action and danger. This isn't so much a mystery as a "how are they going to pull this off?" It requires a massive suspension of disbelief (as do many books of the suspense/thriller genre) but other than that, it has more than enough action and danger to please a suspense lover.
It isn't a BAD book, so why didn't it hold my attention? I can't point out major flaws that would explain WHY, which is unusual for me. It's usually pretty easy for me to say "I liked THIS but I didn't like THAT" when I write a review, but this one is very difficult. Here are the only two theories I have:
1) Some stories are benefitted by a quick read, while some definitely lose steam when the book is read over too long a time. I am usually reading 2-3 books at the same time, so it takes me a month or so to finish any given book. I do think that probably hurt me in enjoying the constant danger and suspense of this book.
2) Perhaps it was the constant onslaught of DANGER DANGER WILL ROBINSON! that was the problem for me. Usually, you have some character development or something that slows down the action from time to time and gives you a break from the intensity. In this book, it's pretty much all danger all the time. Since so much of the danger was so over the top, perhaps I just got overdosed on it.
This is a fast, good read with a plot that is a bit out of the ordinary for your basic thriller. It knits together Somali pirates, corporate spies, Big Pharma, narcotics, khat, love and lust, and it does so in a well-paced story that is not entirely predictable. Running Dark is an excellent read for an airplane trip, the beach or a leisurely weekend at home.
Emma Caldridge is running an ultramarathon in South Africa when a roadside bomb explodes near her. As she lay dazed, a man injects her with some chemical and leaves. She is able to finish the race with surprising speed and endurance. Kahlil Ibriham Mungabe is in Dubai when his contact, The Vulture, tells him that he will pay to have Mungabe and his Somalia pirates intercept a cruise ship. The ship holds pharmaceuticals that The Vulture wants. The … more
This novel is chockful of dangerous situations almost from beginning to end. One would think, then, that it would have been extremely easy to stay interested in the story and to not want to put the book down. For me, this was NOT the case. Especially from about the halfway point until shortly before the end, I had to force myself to pick up the book from my nightstand every night. It sat in my car for a week or two, untouched. Trust me, if it was THAT exciting a book, I would have taken the time … more
One would expect that when ultramarathoner Emma Caldridge is blown off her feet by a car bomb near the halfway point of South Africa's Comrades race, she would call it a day. Emma, feeling the ill effects of the run even before the bomb blast, is too stunned by the explosion to protest when a stranger injects her with a mysterious drug via the EpiPen in his hand. All she knows for sure is that the drug immediately has her back on her feet, her race injuries are quickly healing, and she cannot wait … more
Emma Caldridge is competing in an ultramarathon event in Africa. As she passes mile marker thirty-five, a roadside bomb detonates, nearly killing her. As she lies by the road, a man approaches her and injects her with something. Too dazed to react, she is aware of the injection but unable to discern the man. As she regains her faculties, she notices that her once swollen feet are returning to normal. She also seems to have a burst of energy, in fact she finishes the race with faster split times … more
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