Review Blog

Mar 20 2018

The Malice of Waves by Mark Douglas-Home

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Cal McGill, Sea Detective book 3. Michael Joseph, 2016. ISBN 9780718182762
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Themes: Mystery. Missing persons. Oceans. Islands. Criminal investigation. For five years Priest's Island has guarded the secret of Max Wheeler's disappearance. For five years Max Wheeler's family gathers on Priest's Island to mourn for the boy who disappeared without trace. Cal McGill, an oceanographer who is expert at finding bodies at sea is called in after numerous investigations have failed to discover what has happened to the boy. He finds himself in the middle of the angst on the island because the community had been accused of murder and a father who is so involved in the disappearance of his son that he ignores his three daughters, Joss, Chloe and Hannah.
Told from multiple viewpoints the reader soon becomes engrossed in the happenings and personalities of the people on the island. Intertwined with the story of Max's disappearance is a thread about Stanley Pryke, a bird egg collector who desperately wants to add a unique egg found on Priest's Island to his collection. Add to this the information about how bodies float in the sea, where currents will take them, a sea detective with unique skills, and an undercover Detective Sergeant, Helen Jamieson, and lovers of mysteries are in for a treat.
The atmosphere that gathers around the arrival of the Wheeler family is tense and the author gradually builds up the suspense keeping the reader engrossed and wondering if another murder is going to take place. This is an intelligent and gripping crime story.
Although the third in the series about the Sea Detective, there is sufficient background information and in-depth portrayal of the characters to make it a comfortable and engrossing stand-alone read. After reading The Malice of the Waves, readers will also feel encouraged to pick up other books in the series as they would want to follow the cases of this unique detective.
Pat Pledger

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