As I sit here in the freezing weather, just outside Denver, I can’t help but envy Hannah Sampson. Heck, Hannah should envy herself! Stuck knee-deep and zero degrees into a bitter winter in Denver, Hannah, a Homicide Detective for the DPD is called to the scene of what first seems to be a senseless crime. The secretary of the Police Commissioner, Greta, has been murdered in the file room of the Commissioner’s offices. While the room is torn to pieces, the contents are so innocuous, there is really no reason for the death, or the break-in.
When Hannah received a call from the Commissioner’s assistant the next day, she is pulled into a situation she never would have believed. A month before, the Commissioner’s son died while diving a shipwreck off of Great Camanoe, an island in the BVI (British Virgin Islands). The investigation, slapdash at best, was dropped with minimal investigation, and an outcome of “Death by Drowning.” Commissioner Duvall and his wife Caroline cannot, and will not, accept that their son, Michael, a professional diver and Marine Biologist, would have died so carelessly. They want the situation investigation, and answers found. And who better to do that than Hannah, who is not only Homicide Detective, but also head of Denver Homicide’s Dive & Recovery Team?
When Hannah arrives upon the breathtaking shores of the BVI, things immediately turn interesting as her investigation leads further and further into darkness. Did Michael truly drown due to his own carelessness? Or is there something much more evil occurring, something that could endanger Hannah’s life?
Swimming With The Dead was an absolute pleasure to read. It is always fun when a book is set in your own home area, and with the author, Kathy Brandt, being a “local” as well, it was great fun to follow Hannah through Denver before she left for the BVI. Then, when she arrives in the BVI, the surroundings become even more interesting, as Hannah becomes more and more involved in her investigation. I loved how Ms. Brandt described the islands and the people, the colour and vibrancy of that gorgeous world. Her descriptions of the underwater world were stunning, as well as being informative as Hannah follows through on Michael’s quest to protect the ocean and her creatures. The book is well researched, and draws you into the beauty and the warmth of her story.
At first, honestly, I didn’t really care for Hannah herself. She comes across as hard and emotionally distant, and her seeming lack of care for the environment and the fragility of the ecosystem seems quite odd for a resident of this beautiful state. However, as you come to know Hannah and what her life is, you begin to understand. And as Hannah begins to bloom, you get a true feel for a woman who is damaged, but begins to live once again, and appreciate the beauty around her.
I will be checking out Ms. Brandt’s other works in the Hannah Swenson world, and very much look forward to the pleasure.
This book was provided to me by netgalley.com in return for a realistic review. All opinions are my own.
Check out Ms. Brandt’s website for information not only on her books, but also about the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) and her role with the organization.