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Category Five: Tango Key Mysteries    by T. J. MacGregor Amazon.com order for
Category Five
by T. J. MacGregor
Order:  USA  Can
Pinnacle, 2005 (2005)
Paperback
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Hurricane Danielle, a monster of a storm that forecasters are saying could become more devastating than Andrew, has taken aim at the Florida coast. As residents of the small island community of Tango Key prepare to evacuate, dangerous sociopath Billy Joe Franklin pulls off a brazen and bloody prison break to spring his girlfriend Crystal. However, he didn't factor in a hurricane and now he, Crystal, and her cellmate, Tia Lopez, must ride out the storm and hope that Danielle's fury stymies an FBI manhunt.

Bookstore owner (and psychic) Mira Morales, her daughter Annie, and their grandmother Nadine are preparing to ride out the category five storm without Mira's fiancÚ, Shep. FBI agent Wayne Sheppard has been called away to assist in the manhunt for the three escaped fugitives. Shep's superior knows that Mira often helps the police and asks her to read the carnage Franklin left at the prison. Mira isn't happy about the timing but reluctantly agrees. Her clues lead Shep's team to Franklin's hiding place deep within a wildlife refuge. But the fugitives are waiting for them. The three criminals head back to town and take refuge in the last place the cops are likely to look - Mira's heavily barricaded house. Now, while a monster storm rages outside, Mira, Annie and Nadine must deal with another kind of terror that's invaded her lives.

Category Five is a non-stop, pulse-pounding thriller that's hard to put down. McGregor has created a trio of cunning criminals whose motivations and back-stories are thorough and convincing. Mira and Sheppard are nicely crafted, engaging characters, particularly Mira, whose empathic gift is hit and miss, not always clear and often harrowing. She's also dealing with a teenage daughter who finds it hard to understand her own growing psychic gifts. This is the fifth book in the Tango Key Mysteries - and I intend to check out the previous four, as well as other titles (many of which incorporate psychic elements) in the award-winning author's extensive backlist.

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