From Publishers Weekly
Salvage boat captain and sometime sleuth Seychelle Sullivan returns in Kling's follow-up to her well-received debut, Surface Tension,
this time to aid a frightened Haitian waif named Solange. Seychelle—who's plying the South Florida waters on her tugboat, the Gorda
, with her mechanic cum lover, B.J.—discovers the girl on a swamped boat and makes saving her, both from danger and from immigration officials, a personal crusade. The recent murder of some Haitian refugees and a creepy visitor to Solange's hospital room convince Seychelle that the frightened girl is in peril. More challenges come from tough guys with various agendas. Detective Victor Collazo, with whom Seychelle has a combative history, seems determined to thwart her effort and return the child. Border Patrol Agent Russ Elliott presses a similar agenda, though Seychelle's lawyer and best friend Jeannie does her best to parry his thrusts. Retired DEA agent Joe D'Angelo conveniently arrives to perk up Seychelle's libido (B.J. notwithstanding) and address some unanswered questions about her dead father, with whom he worked, and a surprise visit by Seychelle's black-sheep brother, Pit, threatens even more disruption. Savvy readers will be two steps ahead of the plot, which features several genre set pieces, but Kling writes with crisp assurance, especially about life in coastal South Florida, and her supporting cast, if crowded, is colorful.
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As in her debut (Surface Tension
, 2002), Ft. Lauderdale tugboat skipper Seychelles Sullivan happens upon a dead woman adrift on the Gulf Stream, but this time there's salvage aboard: a girl named Solange, half-dead from exposure, who stirs our heroine's maternal instincts and sets her on a mission to find the girl's American father before she can be deported back to Haiti and a life of servitude. As the only witness to the latest in a string of brutal refugee murders that may have occult significance, Solange is also of great interest to powerful men on both sides of the law. Seychelles draws upon a large, supportive cast, including a few ogle-worthy guys, and deepens ties to a love interest and to her deceased father, whose honor is called into question when some old drug-running pals resurface. To these convoluted matters of the heart, Kling adds swift plotting, convincing nautical detail, voodoo lore, and tropical scenery, all of which adds up to a satisfying if unsurprising series that is Florida's answer to Grafton and Barr. David WrightCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved