Book Review: Deadly Currents by Beth Groundwater

Deadly Currents
Beth Groundwater
Midnight Ink, March 2011
ISBN 073872162X
Trade Paperback

Put on your wetsuit and personal flotation device and get ready for a whitewater adventure in Colorado. Steer clear of the rocks and the murder. The debut novel in the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventure mystery series by Groundwater takes you on a ride fraught with danger at every bend.

In the whitewater rapids of Colorado’s Arkansas River, Tom King falls out of his raft. Mandy Tanner, ranger and river guide, rescues him but King dies anyway. Mandy subsequently finds out King died from poisoning. Who killed him? The suspects are numerous. The wife had motive because Tom cheated on her. The mistress hated that Tom wanted to go back to his wife. The son Tom refused to help financially. The environmentalist who was against Tom’s plans for a golf course. The realtor in competition with Tom for land and water rights. Maybe it was one of Mandy’s own crew of river guides. She navigates her way through the list while also dealing with her uncle’s failing rafting business. Soon, she finds the water isn’t the only danger she has to face.

I must mention the cool and appropriate name of the author. What else but a river adventure would you expect someone named Groundwater to write? She did some excellent research to bring a lot of aspects of life on the river, the dangers, and the technical know-how. This is a cozy with a few instances of foul language, but not enough to turn you off. She’s learned her craft well and moved the story along with each chapter to a fine climax and conclusion. I look forward to another novel from this author.

Reviewed by Stephen L. Brayton, September 2011.