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Badwater (The Forensic Geology Series Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Toni Dwiggins
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)

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Book Description

** Golden Bot Award (Wired.com) Best Whodunit **

Forensic geologists Cassie Oldfield and Walter Shaws embark on a perilous hunt--tracking a terrorist who has stolen radioactive material that is hotter than the desert in August. He threatens to release it in America's most fragile national park, Death Valley.

But first he must stop the geologists who are closing in.

As the hunt turns dangerous, Cassie and Walter will need grit along with their field skills to survive this case. For they are up against more than pure human malice. The unstable atom--in the hands of an unstable man--is governed by Murphy's Law. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

And it does.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Fans of Nevada Barr will love this suspenseful literary mystery."
~ Lisa Brackmann, Amazon Top 10 Mystery and Thriller author

"The best closing act of any book I have read in years."
~ Wired.com's GeekDad, Golden Bot Award Best Indie Whodunit

"The mystery kept me guessing, the suspense made me sweat, and the pace was as blistering as the heat in Death Valley."
~ Good Book Alert

"A fast paced thriller with the terrifying theme of radiation exposure as a weapon. CSI type fans will appreciate the science...even those of us less well versed in the technical side will feel the fear and horror as events unfold."
~ Bookstack Reviews

“A very fine job of characterizing the disconnect between measures intended to assure safety and the reality of things sometimes being unsafe. Truly well-written and engaging."
~ David Lochbaum, head of the Nuclear Safety Project, Union of Concerned Scientists

From the Author

All books in The Forensic Geology Series are stand-alone and can be read in any order.

Product Details

  • File Size: 747 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005466WQ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,358 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Radioactive Thriller December 9, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed BADWATER by Toni Dwiggins, an independently published thriller that compares well with traditionally published paperbacks available at any bookstore.

Cassie Oldfield and Walter Shaws are forensic geologists--a new term to me, but I know about it now thanks to the book--who are called in to assist in the investigation of missing radioactive waste in Death Valley. The setting is well described, the technology well researched, and the bad guys engineer diabolical plot twists. The action continues right up to the end.

My only gripe worth mentioning has to do with the narrative perspective. The book is written in a mix of first and third person that I personally find to be distracting. I don't know if this is a recent trend in fiction--this is the second book I've recently read that does this--but I find it jarring at each change. It may well be a personal preference, but I can't help but penalize a star for it.

BADWATER gets three stars from me, others who don't mind the narrative perspective would likely rate it higher.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilling... July 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dwiggins' intro into the world of forensic geologists Cassie Oldfield and Walter Shaws offers a chilling view inside the messy business of hazardous waste disposal; in this case, highly-toxic radioactive waste that has fallen into the wrong hands--for a devastating purpose.

Set in the harsh, gorgeous, and dangerously barren landscape of California's Death Valley, Dwiggins pushes her characters to their limits. They are in constant danger, from sheer exposure to the elements of their setting to exposure to the radioactive waste they are hunting.

There are a number of surprising twists and turns involving the villains, and their multi-layered development makes it difficult to determine who they are, and their true motives, until the very end. The most frightening aspect in the story is the radioactive material itself; Dwiggins does an excellent job of creating this "character" without bogging the reader down with too many scientific facts or confusing jargon. It simply comes alive in her prose and takes on a life of its own, which raises the stakes even more for those who are trying to find it, and those who want to control it.

In the end, it is the radioactive waste that emerges as the true villain, showing how humans--bad guys or not--are at the mercy of nature itself.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Badwater receives a rating of 3 stars from this reviewer. However, I could recommend this book to readers who are selectively looking for a mild thriller with a basis in the desert SW (specifically Death Valley).

The story is set in Death Valley and follows a pair of forensic geologists who are using their expertise in helping the FBI track down a terrorist (U.S. grown) who has stolen nuclear waste.

A reader interested in desert geology and nuclear waste storage as part of a thriller could easily give Badwater 4 stars. My rating of 3 stars indicates that it is a "good book", with quality writing and research, and worth the time to read -- for the right reader. I personally found the background information concerning nuclear waste more interesting than the geological part of this story. This might be more of a result of living in a state of 10,000 lakes with very limited knowledge of the desert.

If you like a thriller with a forensic science base, then Badwater might be a perfect match for you.

Anthony Wessel (for the Kindle Book Review) and owner of DigitalBookToday.com
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Badwater is Geology at its Best December 4, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm not big on crime investigation stories, but I do have a degree in geology, so I couldn't resist this book. The story brings us a pair of forensic geologists who use soil samples and rock types to solve crimes. In this case, they are on the trail of stolen radioactive waste, through Death Valley, California, one of the most amazing places on the planet.

This is simply one of the best books I've ever read. The characters are strong, realistic, and sympathetic. The lead character is Cassie, and yes, I'm delighted she's a woman. Lots of geologists are women, but geology somehow still has a macho, guy-thing reputation. This story has Cassie tramping through the heat and hills of Death Valley and enduring radiation exposure, while protecting Walter, her older boss and mentor, who is strong, but has a heart problem. Cassie carries the action with a believable blend of ethics, intelligence, and humor.

Geology and radioactivity are explained in seamless narrative or dialogue, never once detracting from the action. This is not a simple thing to pull off, but author Toni Dwiggins makes it look easy. The book is not long, but she layers plot twists and "who-dun-it" mystique throughout, taking the reader on a high-stakes guessing game scattered with scientists, truck drivers, mine owners, and government managers.

Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Badwater July 2, 2013
By BigAl
Format:Kindle Edition
Forensic Geology wasn't a term I can remember coming across until I saw this book. The meaning seemed obvious: according to Wikipedia it is "the study of evidence relating to minerals, oil, petroleum, and other materials found in the Earth, used to answer questions raised by the legal system." Just what I thought. Maybe if I watched more of the CSI TV series franchise I'd have been familiar with the term. The same Wikipedia article says this science goes back at least as far as the late 1800s when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes use some rudimentary forensic geology techniques (at least compared to what the primary characters, Cassie and Walter, use in Badwater) to catch the bad guys. With the popularity of forensic science in general on TV and in books (both fictionalized and not), this specialty is an interesting variation on the theme.

This story hooked me early and kept me interested throughout. Unlike many forensic types, the nature of their specialty means Cassie and Walter aren't spending most of their time "back in the lab," but are out in the field and at risk. They're well developed characters with a unique relationship and history that adds to the story. Even though the reader knows who the culprit is fairly early and the main characters along with the FBI agents they're supporting figure it out soon afterward, the whodunit isn't the draw as much as "what's he going to do next." Then at the climax we discover that there's more to the story than what we'd thought. A real page turner.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars very intense grip on reality and time is distance
I did pick up on who was the bad guy, whom to be suspicious of but how it would play out kept me guessing. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Purrson
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
Love a good who-done-it and this is a great one! Little slow a first but then it really takes off. Have always been concerned about nuclear waste disposal and learned more about... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Laura Karges
5.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling masterpiece of science based fiction
The story is well written with a heluva twist at the end it has science in it but you don't have to be a rock hound to enjoy it and it has action and malice seasoned with... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Paul Cooke
5.0 out of 5 stars Dwiggins Does It Right!
Badwater is a GOOD book. As a geologist, I can be very critical--well, very VERY critical--of novels that deal with the subject. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Jenny Andersen
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings...
I have mixed feelings about this book. Didn't always hold my interest. I'm reading VOLCANO now by this author and find it a much better read.
Published 1 month ago by Silvers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent story and series!
Published 2 months ago by Karen Sugalski
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this series!
Published 2 months ago by Vicki Hamilton
4.0 out of 5 stars A good start to a series
A good start to a series. Enough suspense to keep you involved and churning through the pages. Looking forward to starting the second book.
Published 2 months ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thrilling great read
Published 2 months ago by Lorraine Church
5.0 out of 5 stars I've already read Volcano Watch and had the same reaction to that book
I usually have multiple books open. When I opened Badwater and read a little, all the other books went on the back burner. How does Toni do it? Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. Griswold
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More About the Author

Toni Dwiggins is a third-generation Californian who migrated from southern Cal to northern Cal. What she likes most about her state is that one can go from the ocean to the mountains in one day, with a lunch stop in the desert. She likes it so much she has chosen those settings for her forensic geology books. These stories feature a young woman and her father-figure mentor, who analyze earth evidence to solve crimes and crises--and in the process get entangled in outdoor adventure and thrills.

Her book Badwater won Wired.com's Golden Bot Award for the 'Best Whodunit.'

** Join Toni on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/ToniDwigginsBooks

** To be notified of new releases, sign up here:
http://eepurl.com/g-vtM

** Visit Toni's website at
http://tonidwiggins.com/

** Say hi on Twitter at
https://twitter.com/ToniDwiggins

WHAT READERS AND REVIEWERS ARE SAYING about Toni's books:
QUICKSILVER:
A splendid story for science thriller fans"
--ScienceThrillers.com

From Amazon reviewers:

"A sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-chair kind of adventure"

"Fascinating, Terrifying - Like Playing with Mercury"

"Neat CSI stuff"

"Illuminates an aspect of the California Gold Rush that I had no idea existed"

"I feel I am right there with Cassie and Walter, trying to find a way out"

"An amazing rollercoaster ride!"

BADWATER:
"Fans of Nevada Barr will love this suspenseful literary mystery."
--Lisa Brackmann, Amazon Top 10 Mystery and Thriller author

"The best closing act of any book I have read in years."
--Wired.com's GeekDad, Golden Bot Award Best Indie Whodunit

"The mystery kept me guessing, the suspense made me sweat, and the pace was as blistering as the heat in Death Valley."
--Good Book Alert

"A fast paced thriller with the terrifying theme of radiation exposure as a weapon. CSI type fans will appreciate the science...even those of us less well versed in the technical side will feel the fear and horror as events unfold."
--Bookstack Reviews

VOLCANO WATCH:
"I couldn't put this one down!"
--ScienceThrillers.com

From Amazon reviewers:

"An exciting character-driven thriller, fast-paced, in which a mountain blows up. What more could you want?"

"If you enjoy 'literary mysteries' or Nevada Barr, you will love this book."

"As a geothermal thriller, this ranks with Free Fire by C.J. Box."

"This is a hybrid of murder mystery and action thriller, and it works well both ways."

"I was pulled along by a story that developed an intensity that almost did me in."

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