Sunday, March 10, 2013

Book Review: Bilge Water Bones by Glynn Marsh Alam (Luanne Fogarty #4)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Rich characters and writing
Cons: Plot slows down in the second quarter
The Bottom Line:
Has one weak quarter
But still so enjoyable
Characters, story

Missing Teens and Skeletons

Luanne Fogarty works as a linguistics professor at the University of Florida. But she supplements her income by diving in the freshwater swamp and caves near her home in northern Florida for the sheriff's department. That part times job seems to bring her plenty of mystery and danger, as Bilge Water Bones, the fourth in the series, demonstrates.

A wild night of partying and boating leads to an accident and Tommy Hanover, teenage son of a local, rich family, is missing as a result. While searching for his body, Luanne finds a skeleton in a sunken boat. It could be ruled an accident except for that third eye the skull has. Trying to identify these new bones leads Luanne to a mysterious graduate student. What is he up to in the swamp? Who belonged to the bones? And will they ever find Tommy?

Author Glynn Marsh Alam always weaves a great tale with wonderful writing, and this book is no exception. As always, the writing is atmospheric and vivid. I felt like I was diving in the springs right beside Luanne.

The series regulars are fully developed as always, and I've grown to love them. Luanne's an independent woman who occasionally runs afoul of her boss at the sheriff's office. A multi-book arc involving her former lover Harry continues to develop here. Luanne is trying to get Harry comfortable with diving again after an accident in a previous book. Naturally, this causes problems with her new love interest. This arc really enriches the characters and the series as a whole. And you've got to love Pasquin, Luanne's 80-something swamp neighbor. He's fun, tough, and caring all at once. The new characters are just as intriguing and offer up some wonderful red herrings along the way to the solution.

The various plot threads are interesting and kept my interest. The plot did seem to slow down in the second quarter, but picked up again at the half way point. From there on out, I couldn't put the book down until I reached the satisfying ending.

This series combines mysteries, diving, great characters, and captivating writing. Bilge Water Bones, like the others in this series, should be savored.

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