Monday, October 8, 2012

Toni Anderson's Dangerous Waters, Romantic Suspense, is Winner!

East Sands beach, St Andrews, viewed from the ...
East Sands beach, St Andrews, viewed from the Gatty Marine Laboratory (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Bianca?" Thom Edgefield's voice rasped in his throat.
She'd almost forgotten about the poor guy. His eyes popped open and he stared at her as if he'd seen a proverbial ghost.
"Finn's gaze sharpened on her features. He looked back
at the older man. "That isn't Bianca, Thom. This here is Sgt. Holly Rudd. She's a cop."
"Who's Bianca?" she asked.
"Professor Edgefield tried to climb to his feet, but Finn pressed a hand on his chest. "Just rest easy. It isn't her."
"Who's he talking about? Who's Bianca?"
Neither man spoke. When the old man wouldn't calm down, Finn helped him to his feet and he lunged unsteadily toward her. She was suddenly aware that she was alone in a room with two possible suspects. Her hand rested on her stun gun..."

Dangerous Waters

By Toni Anderson

This book is due out in November
You Can Pre-Order...

I was prepared to "compare" this book, which is something I try to avoid, but when the back cover referred to J. D. Robb, my favorite author, there were natural key points that came to mind--specifically the male and female characters in the Death series. That couple is married but there is definitely a sexual connection that is dominant in the series. I'm not sure whether Anderson's is going to be a series, but there was indeed an "instant attraction" between Holly Rudd and Finn Carver, that grew quickly through the book when marriage was being discussed at the end. For romantic suspense, where the romance has to move fast especially in a single novel, I thought it was a good lead in, in case it does become a series.

Certainly there was a clear indication that Holly Rudd was a great cop, dedicated, with a support staff that showed they respected her as their leader. So, yes, I could agree that there was a minimal cop connection to J. D. Robb's ongoing  successful series. But the setting, the story, and the characters themselves are totally different and certainly warrant her own commendation for author Toni Anderson , as fully capable of creating a suspense story that will keep readers "working" to figure out whodunit. I got close, if that counts...LOL

The setting was a fantastic choice and gave ample opportunity to move the story in many directions, while being able to hold each string tightly to the overall mystery...for murder had happened and in the small town atmosphere of Crow Point, nobody was willing to share information with Sergeant Rudd and the mounties... The author was generous with her details on the area. One scene had a bear walking by as a main character was on his way to save somebody; a brief glimpse that can only be inserted by a strong writer and one who is totally familiar with the location...Kudos for greatly adding to reader enjoyment...

Yes, I said Mounties, since we are in Canada. Sergeant Rudd is the daughter of the Commissioner, but most know that she worked hard to make sergeant. This would be her first case as lead and I enjoyed her inner thoughts about those on her team, as she tried to understand their skills and personalities, wondering why one or another had not yet been promoted. She knew she was in a difficult position, because of her father. Worse, though, was that her staff sergeant and her had a past--he had lied to her about being married and when she had found out, it was already too late for her to easily walk away from their intimacy. Now, she had to report to him! But somebody else had heard them discussing their past! Would he now use it against her?

Central to the story is the location of Bamfield Marine Science Center, where Finn Carver was dive master, but also a close friend of the head of the center. Professor Edgefield has some of the forgetful characteristics of professors, but not because it came naturally--he had lost his wife and two children through murder years earlier and was still trying to solve the case. He had not made a friend of himself with the local police and when he was severely beaten, Finn had come back to ensure it didn't happen again. It was the Professor and Finn who discovered the dead body in a shipwreck off the coast. They had gone down at night because of the treasure that the Professor had seen on an earlier trip. Wanting to keep it secret was no longer possible, now that they had found a body that still had the knife sticking from his chest, clearly indicating murder...

This is a great book, full of pleasurable parts to read, but don't be mistaken, there are those involved with drugs, those who have murdered, and those who have served time in jail, all who must be interviewed and checked. Then there are those who got involved simply because of personal relationships that pulled them in deeper than was ever planned. Plus an ending that really could not have actually occurred except through the creative imagination of a writer who knows how to merge possibilities of a number of characteristics carefully into a package that has tied up every single hanging thread. I especially liked that there were multiple personal issues that were either forgiven or began, even as some had to be hurt by the final revelations.

If you want to solve this one, you'll have to pay attention to the slightest hints, from beginning to end! And don't accept anything as factual before then... I don't think it was the least like J.D.Robbs books, but I loved it just as much for its intricate weaving of a mystery that I did not solve--probably because I was having too much fun with a couple who couldn't stay away from each other even when they knew they couldn't get together! What is that old saying, the heart knows what the heart wants... LOL  Highly recommended!

TONI ANDERSON is a former marine biologist who conducted her Ph.D. at the Gatty Marine Laboratory in St. Andrews, Scotland, and traveled the world with her work. She was born and raised in rural Shropshire, England but, having lived in five different countries, finally settled in the Canadian prairies with her husband and two children—about as far from the ocean as possible. She combines her love of travel with her love of Romantic Suspense and writes stories based in some of the places she’s been lucky enough to visit. Coming next are two Romantic Suspense books set in the wilds of Vancouver Island for Montlake Romance.  
She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, Kiss of Death Chapter, and The International Thriller Writers’ Association.
 When not writing, she’s walking the dog, gardening or ferrying the kids between school, piano, and soccer games. 
Toni is represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC
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