It’s Book Review Thursday. Come back each week to get a peek inside what authors I love and what storylines inspire me.
It’s a beautiful day to go diving, and Hayden Kent is at her favorite spot, the shipwreck of the Humboldt. Unfortunately, her pleasant outing is ruined when she discovers a dead body in the wreckage, and it isn’t one of the original crew members.
When the authorities show up, they don’t believe her story. They believe she is ‘narked’, a slang term for a condition that can cause divers to act irrationally. It doesn’t help that she also suffers from blinding migraines that cause her to black out. But once she and one of the Coast Guard divers, Paul Muller, dive down to the wreck, he sees the body for himself and realizes she’s right. During their ascent back to the surface, her regulator fails, and Paul saves her life. It seems the hoses on both of her regulators are defective.
She is asked to come down to the police station the next day to answer some questions, and takes her boss, lawyer Grant Huffman, with her. But their questioning makes her uncomfortable, and she walks away believing she is their number one suspect.
The reason she had gone on that dive was because of a bad break up with her boyfriend, Kevin Anderson. She was supposed to meet his brother, Richard, to give him Kevin’s things from her house, but a migraine caused her to cancel. When she woke up Saturday morning, she wasn’t at her house, but at a marina in a wet bathing suit, and no memory of how or why she was there. Then comes the news that the dead body was Richard Anderson, and witnesses claim to have seen her at the marina with him Friday night.
Desperate to clear her name, Hayden starts investigating the case, and she learns things about her ex-boyfriend she never knew. Her relationship with him was based on dozens of lies, and she’s not sure why he would lie to her. After someone breaks into her car one afternoon, she has a heated confrontation at her house with Kevin, who accuses her of killing his brother. (Methinks he doth protest too much!)
Hayden discovers a connection between the dead man and one of the officers investigating the case: he’s her brother-in-law. Two days before he was killed, his wife, Elena, had taken out a restraining order on him. There are recorded incidents of domestic abuse, and she admits to being on the boat with him Friday night. They had a fight; he hit her, even though she’s pregnant, and knocked her out. This makes her a viable suspect in her husband’s death, even more so than Hayden, but she not totally off the hook yet.
During another dive with her friend, Mallory, her air tanks fail. They discover that someone intentionally tampered with them, and since her name is on the side of the tanks, it is safe to say this is no accident. Then someone breaks into her house, knock her out and steal a charm bracelet she found during one of her dives.
Someone is trying to stop her from finding the truth, but Hayden is in too deep to stop. With the killer closing in on her, can she figure things out before someone cuts off her air supply permanently?
I found this book very interesting, because I know absolutely nothing about diving (you won’t find me near a body of water larger than my garden tub). The technical jargon didn’t go flying over my head, but I didn’t feel like I was being talked down to, either. It was presented in a very matter-of-fact way, like Hayden was teaching new students all about diving. The vulnerability of Hayden because of the migraines that cause blackouts added a different layer and dimension to her character that you don’t see very often. This was an intricately woven plot, with plenty of suspects (I guessed the wrong person!), and plenty of bad guys to hate. I loved it, and I cannot wait for Hayden’s next adventure. Well done, Kait, well done! Bravo!!! But I’m still not getting anywhere near the ocean…
Death by Blue Water is available in paperback and e-book on Amazon.