Adrift by Micki Browning is the first book in the NEW “Mer Cavallo” mystery series. Publisher: Alibi, January 10, 2017

adriftIn this breathtaking mystery debut, marine biologist–turned-divemaster Meredith Cavallo stands accused of a chilling crime after a dive gone wrong. But do the murky circumstances point to an accident, a murder, or a supernatural encounter?

Mer thought adjusting to a laid-back life in the Florida Keys would be a breeze. But when she rescues a floundering diver who claims to have seen a ghost, she’s caught in a storm of intrigue. News of the encounter explodes on social media, attracting a team of ghost hunters who want to capture proof that a greenish ghoul haunts Key Largo’s famed USS Spiegel Grove shipwreck.

Meredith knows the wreck inside and out, and agrees to act as their safety diver. When Ishmael, the charismatic leader of the group, vanishes during a midnight dive, everyone except Mer is convinced the ghost has claimed another victim. Topside, the tenacious detective in charge of the investigation finds Mer’s involvement in both incidents suspicious, and her enigmatic neighbor resurrects ghosts from her past.

Determined to find a rational explanation, Mer approaches Ishmael’s disappearance as any scientist would—by asking questions, gathering data, and deducing the truth. But the victim’s life is as shrouded in mystery as his disappearance. Still, something happened under the water and before long, she’s in over her head. When someone tries to kill her, she knows the truth is about to surface. Maybe dead men do tell tales after all.

The author is quite knowledgeable and it shows in this multi-plot drama with an amateur sleuth who used her science know-how to break through the barriers that crossed her path and a slew of suspects who all had a much stronger motive than our heroine. The mystery was nicely done and the play by play interaction among the characters added to the dynamics of this puzzling case. There was so much going on and that kept the story moving at a good pace with the narrative heightening the depth and intensity of this tale. With a good cast of characters, engaging dialogue and a nice backdrop set in the Florida Keys, this was an enjoyable read.

FTC Full Disclosure – I received an electronic advanced reader copy (ARC) from the author.

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