With rookie River Ranger Mandy Tanner and her boss Steve Hadley watching, things are about to get very dangerous on the Arkansas River in Colorado. One of the river rafts has flipped and tossed equipment and passengers into the swirling river churning towards some deadly rapids. With odds against them before they start, Tanner and Hadley start trying to rescue as many they can as fast as they can. That results in Mandy Tanner performing her first river recue in increasingly dangerous conditions as she breaks protocol to save lives.
Her second week patrol proves that sometimes doing things in an orthodox way is at times very necessary. She successfully pulls in two passengers, one female and one male. The woman, Hannah Fowler, is shaken but, all things considered, okay. The man, a local land developer named Tom King, was dead by the time she got him out of the water to a river bank.
With a wrongful death lawsuit in the early stages and her Uncle’s river rafting business at stake, Mandy Tanner decides to investigate and ask questions of anyone involved with that river trip. Her questions annoy a long list of suspects especially when it becomes clear Tom King was a victim of foul play. Still reeling from her guilt over Tom King’s death and a second much closer to home tragedy, Mandy Tanner does not know when to shut up and enjoy the river while leaving the case to the law enforcement professionals. If she isn’t careful and very lucky, her career, her young life might be over before it starts.
Reminiscent of early Nevada Barr novels and not just because of the outdoor setting, this cozy style read is the start of a new series featuring River Ranger Mandy Tanner. Known for her novels A Real Basket Case and To Hell in a Hand Basket this novel is far different in style and tone. Along with a detailed and obvious appreciation of the outdoors, author Beth Groundwater has created an interesting core group of characters, a complex mystery, and plenty of action and adventure.
The start of a new series, Deadly Currents is not only good but puts down an excellent foundation to build on. In will be very interesting to see how this develops further with Wicked Eddies slated for publication next year.
Deadly Currents: A RM Outdoors Adventures Mystery
Midnight Ink (Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.)
Paperback (also available in the Kindle)
Material supplied by the author quite some time ago in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple © 2011
Beth Groundwater will also be a guest Sunday evening at The Writer’s Chatroom found at: http://writerschatroom.com/ If you have never attended one of these things before, make plans to do so tomorrow evening as it is always a good time. Just remember, this is on East Coast time!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
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