By Cathy Clamp
A deep, dark forest. A small town with secrets around every corner, all set near the waters known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” It’s the perfect setting for a murderous thriller. Author Toni Anderson has created a great new world in the close-knit logging and marine community of Crow Point at the edge of Barkley Sound. After local divers discover a body at the site of a sunken ship where they are gathering specimens of a new kind of sea life, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Holly Rudd is sent out to investigate. Anderson’s background as a former marine biologist (although she now lives on the Canadian prairie, far from the water) make the underwater scenes especially interesting and true-to-life.
One of the focal points of the story is the Bamfield Marine Science Center where both of the divers work. For one of the divers, Professor Thom Edgefield, the Center has become his life after the murder of his beloved wife and disappearance of his daughter. He has continued to look for her, long after the police have closed the file. This hasn’t made him a friend of the police and he views Sergeant Rudd with a suspicious eye, making him keep potentially vital secrets close to his dive vest. But it’s not just the murder he wants to keep secret. There might be treasure on one of the sunken wrecks, and he doesn’t want people snooping around until he can find it.
Sparks also fly between Rudd and the other diver who discovered the body, Finn Carver, but of a different sort. Their attraction is immediate, making them both allies in the murder investigation, as well as verbal sparring partners. Carver is in the same water with Edgefield as the dive master of the Bamfield Center. He likewise has secrets aplenty and the shared one of the treasure. His attraction and growing affection toward Rudd is a continual thread in this strong romantic suspense, but doesn’t detract from the action or tension of the murder at hand.
When the townfolk notice that Holly bears a striking resemblance to a former murdered citizen, she finds herself embroiled in an entirely different kind of drama, but she does her best to concentrate on the task at hand . . . find out who wanted the victim dead.
This is a story with a lot of noir elements, reminiscent of J.D. Robb, Sandra Bolton and J.T. Ellison, with gangsters and drugs and long-forgotten crimes. Holly Rudd is a strong character with a difficult past. She’s the daughter of the RCMP Commissioner, struggling to make her own name in her own way. Worse, she’s just been put in the position of reporting to the person she ended a relationship with, a man she hadn’t realized was married, in an affair that could end both of their careers. She needs a victory in solving this crime and will do whatever she has to in bringing the killer to justice. It won’t be easy. The killer doesn’t want to be found and will also do whatever he must to protect his identity—even if it means killing again.
DANGEROUS WATERS has a large cast of characters and lots of room for expansion if the author decides to make the town a setting for a series. For those who love whodunits that can be solved by the reader (provided they pay a lot of attention to detail) this is a book not to be missed!
“With a haunting setting and a captivating cast of characters, Anderson has crafted a multifaceted mystery rife with secrets. Readers will have to focus, as red herrings abound, but the result is a compulsively engrossing page-turner.”-RT Book Reviews.
“Dark and intriguing, Anderson’s tightly plotted story keeps you guessing.”-Laura Griffin, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author.
A former marine biologist, Toni Anderson has traveled the world with her work. She was born and raised in rural Shropshire, England, and, after living in five different countries, she finally settled down in the Canadian prairies with her husband and two children. Combining her love of travel with her love of romantic suspense, Anderson writes stories based in some of the places she has been fortunate to visit. When not writing, she’s busy walking her dog, gardening, and ferrying the kids to school, piano, and soccer games. She is also the author of Storm Warning and Edge of Survival.
To learn more about Toni, please visit her website.