An Intricately plotted, impressive story…
Howle explores themes of loss, love, and trust in her emotionally involving suspense thriller that narrates the story of two broken people brought together by circumstances. Nearly a year after a personal tragedy hit him, Carter McDowell is completely shattered. While on ocean, he finds Kat Deano, a feisty investigative reporter, stranded in the sea. Trying to keep the only thing he has left, his charted sailboat Wind Chaser, he agrees to help Kat with her search for her missing brother. But their lives become increasingly entwined as they face the forces of nature and threats from dangerous enemies. Their uncharted voyage takes them to the office of the Bahamian Prime Minister and further to the remote island of Andros as they stumble onto a sinister plot that threatens both USA and Bahamas. Howle’s prose is precise and sensitive, her writing poignant, and her characters richly drawn. While the beginning of the book shows Howle’s gifts for detailed descriptions, in the second part she comes out as a fine storyteller; here her gifts for characterization are shown to good advantage. With her profound insights and thorough understanding of the contradictory impulses of human nature, she creates a remarkably imagined protagonist in both Carter and Kat, their unhappy life crafted without an ounce of cliché. As both begin to develop a tender bond, Howle delves into the complexities of past trauma, grief, guilt, and regret, exploring the intricacies of marriage and relationships, the questions about trust and the uncertainty of life. Both the protagonists struggle with their personal tragedies, but Howle’s refusal to rely on melodrama makes their story tauter and more focused. Despite some familiar tropes, Howle keeps the reader rooting for the engaging pair. Action is plenty, and there’s no dearth of tension and suspense as Kat and Carter find themselves entangled in relentless terse situations while trying to unravel the mystery behind the former’s brother’s disappearance. The tight plotting, the meticulously researched, realistic details about sailing, references to history and culture, and stunning descriptions of Bahamas and the remote island of Andros combined with thrills and chills of a suspense thriller make the reader thoroughly invested in the story. Drawn on Howle’s extensive experience cruising the region, this richly detailed thriller makes for an impressive accomplishment. Lovers of both suspense thrillers and survival novels will enjoy the pull of this thrilling, evocative story told by Howle.
By Janet Howle
Pub date October 24, 2020
Price $13.99 (USD), $4.11 Kindle edition