Running Scared
Elizabeth Lowell
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Running Scared
Elizabeth Lowell
464 pages
May 2003
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Risa Sheridan knows everything about gold, its secrets, its authenticity, and its magnetism for greed and danger. That is why Shane Tannahill hires her to be the curator of the fabulous gold collection at his world famous Las Vegas casino, the Golden Fleece. They are getting ready for his upcoming “Druid Gold” show that is to launch his new gallery on New Year’s Eve. Trying to suppress their mutual attraction, Risa and Shane search around the world for the one spectacular piece that will make the opening a showstopper.

Very near them is a remarkable stash of ancient gold which is haunting its frightened old owner. He calls the psychic Lady Faulkner to break the curse. Lady Faulkner, who in reality is Risa’s trailer-park childhood friend, Cherelle, is a scam-artist. Soon the old man is dead and Cherelle has the gold. She heads for Vegas, to her pal Risa. Chasing Cherelle are a couple of dangerous crackheads who will stop at nothing, not even murder, to get their hands on the cursed gold. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, rival casino owners fed up with Shane’s Midas touch form a conspiracy to destroy him once and for all. People start dying left and right, no one knows where the gold is, and danger surrounds Risa and Shane. To help them are the extremely competent people of Rarities Unlimited whose motto is to “Buy, Sell, Appraise and Protect” all that is rare and beautiful.

In her latest novel, Lowell takes the reader on a trip to the glittering and treacherous capital of gambling, Las Vegas, and shows us its sleazy side. She takes a comprehensive look at behind-the-scenes action at the top-notch casinos -- the tight security, the ever watchful guards, the power of money and the totally transparent ways in which the different casinos try to lure the public into their gaming havens. Lowell has done her research and gives very absorbing details of druids with their love and use of gold in their pagan rituals. Readers will also learn the various ways that experts use to authenticate ancient jewelry. But the mystery elements are not so very mysterious and the overall plot line, while interesting, is not very original. The characters with their interaction and the absorbing details, help keep the the reader engrossed.

Running Scared is New York Times best-selling author Elizabeth Lowell’s second book in the "Rarities" suspense series. Moving Target is the first book in this series and tells the tale of the Book of the Learned. Lowell, whose real name is Ann Maxwell, lives on the San Juan Islands of Washington. Individually and with co-author/husband Evan, she has written over 50 novels and one non-fiction book. The novels range from science fiction to historical fiction, from romance to mystery to suspense. Her website is

© 2002 by Rashmi Srinivas for Curled Up With a Good Book

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