For Seychelle Sullivan, life is all about making a living, making love, and keeping her eye on the beauty that still remains in her beloved Florida. Then her life takes a turn when her tug intercepts with a swamped fishing boat in the Gulf Stream. Inside the boat are a murdered woman and a little girl in a white dress.
Seychelle returns to shore with a traumatized Haitian girl named Solange in her cabin. Determined to protect Solange, and somehow keep her from being sent back to Haiti, Seychelle becomes obsessed with the forces that nearly killed the girl–and left her speechless with terror.
Exploring the hidden world of Florida’s Haitian community, Seychelle realizes that Solange is still in great danger–and that one killer has claimed dozens of lives. With a murderer stalking the child, Seychelle is racing to unravel dangerous truths. But to get the answers she needs, she must return to where it all started: in the waters of the Gulf Stream, where people died for their dreams of freedom– and a man with a machete did the work of the devil himself.
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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– 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 Wright
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