St. Martin's, April 2003, 23.95, 304 pp.
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.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner