Received a free Copy in exchange for an honest review.
THE LOWDOWN: A retired Marine just wants to relax and go fishing in the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico off the Panhandle of Florida. Unfortunately for Mac McClellan, things don’t always go the way we’d like them to. Instead of landing a big catch, he finds a body in the grassy waters off Five Mile Island. Then things get really interesting. Drugs, cover-ups, property destruction, and death ensue, and Mac finds himself in the middle of an investigation that might get him hurt…or killed.
Made into an undercover Deputy, Mac takes it upon himself to delve deep into the past of some of the prominent members of the community…and in doing so, finds out things that people would rather have stayed buried. With the help of Kate, the attractive sales lady at the local marina shop, Mac starts learning more and more about the people involved. The mystery and allure of the case keeps Mac digging for the answers, not to mention his desire to keep himself off of the suspect list.
MY THOUGHTS: I liked this book. I wasn’t sure what to think when I got started, because it’s not something I’d normally pick for myself to read. And I’m not sure when I last read a novel written by a man (as I usually read romances, and let’s be honest, they’re mostly written by women.) But the story is engaging and enjoyable. I like the lead characters a lot. Mac is a calm, cool, and collected kind of guy, and comes off as charming and affable. Kate is steady and strong, and is a good support structure for Mac. She’s also just the right amount of vulnerable, but only when it’s appropriate to the story (not whiny or wimpy.) The supporting characters are the right mix of personalities, nothing too overdone or exaggerated. The story gets a bit sluggish through the middle, but it does pick up nicely as it’s reaching it’s climax. The occasions where I felt there was almost too much inner monologue from Mac (as the book is written in first person,) are where the flow of the story slows. But it was only minor, and not enough to detract this reader from the end game of finding out what is really going on in this seemingly slow-moving tourist town. Mr. Helms does a great job of giving us tons of details; from the landscape of the fishing spots Mac frequents, to the variety of people he meets, we are given a lot of information to help us build the world we’re reading about in our imagination the way the author intended…which is something I love.
Maybe it’s because I am an Air Force brat, and can appreciate the way military men think. Or perhaps because I’m from Florida and I miss it terribly during this never-ending brutal winter in New York, and this novel is bringing me a piece of home. But I am giving this book a 4 out of 5 mostly it’s because this is a solidly written, enjoyable mystery that will appeal to readers on many levels.