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Under Pressure: An Underwater Investigation…
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Under Pressure: An Underwater Investigation

by Kathy Brandt

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Very Good
  whyteb | Oct 18, 2008 |
As Detective Hannah Sampson, a police detective in the British Virgin Islands, and her colleague Jimmy Snyder are preparing for a training dive, Island Air’s 9:32 a.m. flight to Puerto Rico crashes into the blue water very near their boat. Thanks to the Wahoo’s proximity to the crash site and the quick thinking of Jimmy, Hannah and some passengers, most of them are brought to the surface alive. It’s Hannah’s job to work with her fellow officers and British accident investigators to determine how the plane came down, whether a crime was involved, and if a passenger might have been the target.

The survivors are a varied lot: a high-powered attorney who’s living aboard a multi-million-dollar boat, a Hollywood actor and his agent, the wife of a U.S. Senator, a honeymooning couple. One non-survivor, Lawrence Redding, was employed by a foundation that handed out – or not – large grants to environmental researchers including Hannah’s new neighbor Enok Kiersted. The youngest survivor is Redding’s nine-year-old son Simon. Without a parent and with his closest relative incommunicado, officials agree to let Hannah care for the young boy until his aunt can make other arrangements.

Lurking in the background is a hurricane forecast to hit the islands. Hannah’s significant other, Peter O’Brien, owner of a SeaSail, marina/boat charter company, worries about ensuring the safety of his customers and their boats if the hurricane hits. But there are other dangers in the background, and they are just as dangerous as any storm.

Under Pressure is a police procedural PLUS – plus an absolutely gorgeous island setting, a smart protagonist, a story not entangled in extraneous sub-plots. Under Pressure reminded me of what terrific mystery writing is all about. Readers who grow impatient for a story to get revved up won’t have to wait; in Under Pressure the fun starts on page one. Probably because my husband and I so enjoyed a sailing charter in the BVI, for me, a Kathy Brandt book is a mini-vacation, perfectly capturing the magic of the islands, along with their darker side.

By Diana. First published in the Cozy Library on August 10, 2006. ( )
  NewsieQ | Dec 27, 2006 |
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