The Safe House

Dafina: Kensington. (Black Market, Bk. 2). Jun. 2019. 256p. ISBN 9781496720023. $26; pap. ISBN 9781496720030. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781496720054. F
Swinson’s sequel to The Black Market opens with bad girl Misty Heiress recovering in a Virginia Beach hospital after a suicide attempt. The streetwise woman lingers near death, but her deceased grandmother lets her know that now is not her time. Readers familiar with the series’ first book know law enforcement linked Misty to the gruesome death of boyfriend Terrell. DEA agent Sims wants to arrest Misty, but Ahmad’s crime family wants to kill her. With a survivor’s sense of trouble, Misty flees the hospital to her elderly neighbor’s apartment. Swinson, who remains one of the top urban fiction writers, here lets the pacing limp along with Misty trapped in a cat-and-mouse game with Sims and Ahmad. Finally, she again slips away and lands at gangbanger Rich’s “safe” house. Here the eagerly awaited violence erupts as Misty attempts to flip the script on Ahmad. Will Rich become an asset or collateral damage?
VERDICT The lengthy setup in this second installment of “The Black Market” series may have readers yawning until Swinson’s trademark violence finally explodes.

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