Recent Events

Thursday 18 April 2024

‘Storm Surge’ by Biba Pearce

Published by Liquid Mind Publishing,
12 March 2024.
ISBN: 978-1-68533310-2 (PB)

Storm Surge opens as the coast of Florida is being battered by Hurricane Matteo.  This is big news for staff of the local newspaper The Miami Herald.  Keith, the editor-in-chief has already dispatched a photographer to the local marina and is now receiving video footage of the unfolding chaos.  Several luxury yachts have been violently dislodged from their moorings and are almost certain to be wrecked, among them The Jewel of the Seas owned by Salvatore Del Gatto.  The wealthy businessman has long been suspected of having links with organised crime and Kenzie Gilmore, an investigative journalist with the Herald, has been on his trail for a while.  She is delighted when Keith assigns her to cover the story and immediately makes her way to the scene.  If The Jewel of the Seas breaks up, she may find evidence that will expose Del Gatto’s nefarious dealings and Kenzie can hardly believe her luck when the boat crashes into the marina wall.  Ignoring the tempest raging around her, the indefatigable reporter heads towards the splintered remains – this is too good an opportunity to miss.

Meanwhile, at Sweetwater Police Department, Kenzie’s boyfriend, Lieutenant Reid Garrett, is working out how best to deploy his officers during the maelstrom.  Almost every member of his team is out, and Reid’s priority is command and control.  Then, a member of the public calls to say he has found a dead body.  He can’t redeploy his already exhausted staff, so Reid braves the storm to deal with the incident himself.  First impressions suggest the corpse is a victim of the dreadful weather, but something’s not right and the lieutenant decides to treat the discovery as a suspicious death.  He is still dealing with the situation when Kenzie calls him from the marina.  There is something she needs him to see, and it won’t wait.  The couple have a long night ahead of them.

The reader is irresistibly caught up in this whirlwind of a thriller.  Plotlines merge, separate, seem to resolve and then collide again.  Many of the characters are as unpredictable as the precarious weather that dominates the beginning of the story, misleading investigators and readers alike.  Kenzie and Reid must negotiate challenges in their respective jobs, whilst in the tentative first stages of their romance and this inevitably leads to misunderstandings between them.  At times they seem to dance around each other, trying to protect the other’s professional integrity whilst still nurturing their bourgeoning relationship.

Storm Surge is the seventh book in the Kenzie Gilmore Crime Thriller series.  It works perfectly as a standalone, and helpful snippets from Kenzie’s backstory are included smoothly and sparingly.  I immediately warmed to Kenzie as a character and Reid’s steady personality makes him the perfect foil for his impulsive lover.  Pearce writes with flair and skill to create a tense narrative that leads to an ending that I didn’t see coming.  Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Dot Marshall-Gent

Biba Pearce grew up on the wild eastern coast of Southern Africa. She now lives in Surrey, and when she isn’t writing, can be found rambling through the countryside or kayaking on the river Thames. She writes gritty police procedurals and is the author of the bestselling DCI Rob Miller series published by Joffe Books. Her latest release, The Marlow Murders, was published in October 2023.  Look out for The Frost Killer, published 9 January 2024.

Dot Marshall-Gent worked in the emergency services for twenty years first as a police officer, then as a paramedic and finally as a fire control officer before graduating from King’s College, London as a teacher of English in her mid-forties.  She completed a M.A. in Special and Inclusive Education at the Institute of Education, London and now teaches part-time and writes mainly about educational issues.  Dot sings jazz and country music and plays guitar, banjo and piano as well as being addicted to reading mystery and crime fiction.  

No comments:

Post a Comment