Detective Hannah Sampson is back in her third adventure and this time dealing with what she believes was an attempted homicide. It was Sampson who was first on the scene when her friend Elyse Henry was thrown into the burning sea by an explosion aboard the boat "Caribbe." Sampson was asleep on board her own boat "Sea Bird" when the noise woke her up and she investigated. Despite her injuries due to the flames, she was able to rescue Elyse who now lies in the hospital in a coma.
For Hannah Sampson, she believes that the explosion and resulting fire were caused by foul play. Everyone else, including Chief Dun of the Tortola Police Department, believes it was just an accident. Elyse Henry, advent environmentalist especially in regards to the sea turtles and the coral reef, annoyed some of the natives in the British Virgin Islands and appealed to others. With no real evidence other than a gut feeling on Hannah's part, Dun wants her to move on to more serious and obvious matters such as who is breaking into charter boats and stealing stuff. Hannah is not about to let anything go.
What follows is a rather simplistic but enjoyable read. The second storyline of the break-ins on the charters is rather obvious as is the author's feelings on environmental issues. Frequently the narrative read stops completely as the groups are portrayed simplistically as either for or against the environment and the reader is lectured. Like the character development itself, the lectures are simplistic and cultural differences regarding native islanders are mentioned but basically ignored.
The main plot line is enjoyable however and holds a couple of minor surprises. Obviously, the author loves the area she writes about and that comes through clearly to the reader when she concentrates on her main plot and the beauty of the area. When that is in play, the story moves forward at a steady pace. Unfortunately, the lectures are frequent and not at all subtle or woven skillfully into the story and thus, stop the action and the reader cold.
The overall result is an average read at best. Simplistic on all levels, this is a pleasant diversion for a couple of hours.
Kevin R. Tipple (copyright) 2006