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Riptide [Paperback]

Debbi Mack
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.95
Price: 8.83 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 May 2012
Lawyer Stephanie Ann "Sam" McRae's stay in Ocean City for the annual Maryland bar association convention turns into a busman's holiday when her best friend Jamila is arrested for a murder she didn't commit. All signs point to a frame, but Jamila's local counsel must plea bargain, placing a permanent stain on the ambitious attorney's spotless record, unless Sam and the private investigator on the case find evidence to clear her. Sam has her work cut out for her, since the victim is the stepson of a local wealthy entrepreneur and poultry producer and no one will talk to her, including their own investigator. Even Jamila appears to be withholding information. Meanwhile, Sam's running from mysterious pursuers and comes under police scrutiny when another murder takes place. With the clock ticking down to the convention and preliminary hearing, Sam must uncover secrets, lies, and fraud to find the real killer. At what cost will that knowledge come for Sam?

Product details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Renegade Press (2 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982950853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982950852
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Debbi Mack is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sam McRae Mystery Series. In addition, she's a Derringer-nominated short story writer, whose work has been published in various anthologies. Debbi writes book reviews for Mystery Scene Magazine. She also writes screenplays and is interested in filmmaking.

Debbi enjoys reading, movies, travel, baseball, walking and cats--not necessarily in that order.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Falls a bit short 8 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novel is entertaining enough, but isn't anything like as good as the previous work by Debbi Mack. Characterisation is very limited and the issues raised are dealt with in a heavy handed and preachy style that doesn't convince in the context of a thirller. New Mack fans should start somewhere else, leave this one alone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sucked me in like a riptide 15 Mar 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Riptide, the latest in the Sam McRae series by Debbi Mack, launches its tough and sardonic protagonist head-first into a herd of sacred cows. Then it asks the reader not to get ran over by the stampede. The pay-off is a fast-paced, compelling crime novel that leaves the reader as buzzed and breathless as the Running of the Bulls.

The herd of sacred cows includes racism, illegal immigration, factory farming, human smuggling, xenophobia, overseas tax shelters, crooked charities and good ol' boy-ism. They're corraled just below the surface of a coastal city commited to looking the other way. Author Mack weaves these social issues tightly around a whodunit involving the framing of Sam's friend Jamila for the murder of a notorious local. The fact Jamila is black, not a local and a lawyer makes her an easy target in a town where all three of those qualities is a crime unto themselves.

Sam works to clear her friend's name, and unravels a larger criminal enterprise. Her investigation encounters the brutal conditions at a factory farm, the unapologetic mistreatment of immigrant workers, a double-standard for the rich of the city and so many conflicts of interest that nothing can be done about any of it.

If all this sounds like a bit much for one crime novel to tackle, you'd be right. Yet author Mack found a way to conduct each of these parts into a pitch-perfect symphony. From the first page to the last, the story never stumbled over itself. Mack's writing is tight as a drum. I slammed this novel in two days. I couldn't wait to turn the page.

Much of that has to do with the strong lead in Sam. She has a hard bark on her, but her sarcasm lightens the crushing seriousness of the mystery.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sucked me in like a riptide 15 Mar 2012
By Benjamin Sobieck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Riptide, the latest in the Sam McRae series by Debbi Mack, launches its tough and sardonic protagonist head-first into a herd of sacred cows. Then it asks the reader not to get ran over by the stampede. The pay-off is a fast-paced, compelling crime novel that leaves the reader as buzzed and breathless as the Running of the Bulls.

The herd of sacred cows includes racism, illegal immigration, factory farming, human smuggling, xenophobia, overseas tax shelters, crooked charities and good ol' boy-ism. They're corraled just below the surface of a coastal city commited to looking the other way. Author Mack weaves these social issues tightly around a whodunit involving the framing of Sam's friend Jamila for the murder of a notorious local. The fact Jamila is black, not a local and a lawyer makes her an easy target in a town where all three of those qualities is a crime unto themselves.

Sam works to clear her friend's name, and unravels a larger criminal enterprise. Her investigation encounters the brutal conditions at a factory farm, the unapologetic mistreatment of immigrant workers, a double-standard for the rich of the city and so many conflicts of interest that nothing can be done about any of it.

If all this sounds like a bit much for one crime novel to tackle, you'd be right. Yet author Mack found a way to conduct each of these parts into a pitch-perfect symphony. From the first page to the last, the story never stumbled over itself. Mack's writing is tight as a drum. I slammed this novel in two days. I couldn't wait to turn the page.

Much of that has to do with the strong lead in Sam. She has a hard bark on her, but her sarcasm lightens the crushing seriousness of the mystery. Were it not for this balanced approach, the weight of the social issues in the story would diminish its readability. She's a hero to the story and the reader.

Get dragged under by Riptide. If you're not already a fan of the Sam McRae series, you will be after this read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveted by Riptide 12 Mar 2012
By Karen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read and enjoyed the first two Sam McRae novels (Identity Crisis and Least Wanted), I was more than excited to see what she'd be up to in this third installment, and I'm thrilled to report that Riptide was a riveting ride of a mystery.

Sam is at her dry witty best, while motoring up and down the coast of Ocean City, MD, seeking to vindicate her best friend, Jamila, who has been framed (or so she believes) for the murder of Billy Ray Wesley, the stepson of a local business man with lots of money and clout.

The plot was tight and author Debbi Mack kept me guessing whodunnit to the very end. What I loved most about this third book is Sam's personal stake in the story - Jamila is her friend and she's not going to let her go down without a fight. Sam is hard on the outside, but she's got the soft, squishy heart of a teddy bear.

If you've read other Sam McRae novels, you'll love this one too. If not, this is a great book to start with!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, fast-paced mystery 12 Mar 2012
By Dale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Want a good, fast-paced mystery? Once again, Debbi Mack has scored a hit, this time with Riptide, the latest outing in the Sam McRae series. Here, attorney Stephanie Ann McRae (Sam) accompanies her friend Jamila, who is scheduled to speak at a Bar Association convention. Sam, who doesn't care about the boring convention, is looking forward to a nice vacation by the sea. It doesn't turn out that way, though, as Sam is roused in the middle of the night to see her friend taken for questioning in a murder.

Sam and Jamila had encountered the murder victim, a racist redneck, in previous confrontations, and when personal items of Jamila are found by the victim, the locals assume she is the killer. She hires a defense attorney, but they're up against a powerful, vengeful local family-- of which the deceased was a member.

Sam, of course, is not about to let her friend get railroaded, and starts investigating. Things just keep getting worse, as the weight of evidence mounts against her friend. Complicating things is the arrival of other people Sam has had encounters with-- some bad, some good, but of a nature Sam doesn't want to admit to.

As Sam tries to unravel the threads of what happened, she runs into a number of hostile folk, and eventually stumbles across a web of secrets and corruption. She is dogged in her pursuit of the truth, and manages to pry little bits of the puzzle out of reluctant witnesses and put the pieces together. She finds herself enmeshed in an alien world. Suffering hounding reporters, shadowy people following her, and malicious vandals, Sam tenaciously ferrets out the truth.

Another murder raises the stakes, and Sam must then race against time to expose the killer, as she herself comes under suspicion.

Sam is a great character, nice to the nice people, but sassy and snappy to the jerks. She has a quick temper for injustice, and is not afraid to speak her mind. She bribes, cajoles, and confronts people in an effort to find information. She even marches right into the lion's den, unstoppable in her quest to exonerate Jamila.

This is the third outing of Sam McRae. You'll want to read the first two, Identity Crisis and Least Wanted.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mack Attack and You're Gonna Love It 12 Mar 2012
By Peg Brantley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
With each of Debbi Mack's Sam McRae novels, she has pulled me along into becoming a tighter fan. I read RIPTIDE in two days. For me, that's one of the fastest reads I've ever had. The story held me. Every minute I could find, I fired up my Kindle and read.

I am once and for all a fan of Sam McRae. And Debbi just happens to be along for the ride.

Do yourself a favor. Get RIPTIDE. One of the great things about this series is that you don't have to have read them all before you read the newest. But I'm guessing you'll want to read more of Mack.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars She's no Kinsey Milhone 25 Dec 2013
By sailor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sam McRae ventures from the Western Shore to Ocean City, Maryland, looking for a little relaxation before the annual state bar association convention. When her best friend is charged with murder, Sam runs around like a chicken with her head cut off, dabbling in human trafficking at poultry plants, the good ole boy network, and one family's dirty secrets.
I wanted to like this book, but had problems with plot holes, the author's failure to research the area she's writing about, and the protagonist's ability to get everyone to drop everything they're doing to do what she wants.
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