Friday, July 14, 2006

Mystery Book Review: Under Pressure by Kathy Brandt

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written our review of Under Pressure by Kathy Brandt. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Under Pressure by Kathy Brandt

Under Pressure by Kathy Brandt
A Hannah Sampson Mystery (4th in series)
Signet (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-451-21878-7 (0451218787)
ISBN-13: 978-0-451-21878-0 (9780451218780)
Publication Date: June, 2006
List Price: $6.99

Synopsis (from the publisher): An underwater investigation job in the British Virgin Islands? Of course I’d take it. But I soon discovered my new duties wouldn’t include a lot of time in the sun. It seems that no matter where your job lands you, as a homicide detective you must always assume the worst ...

At 9:32 on a tropical morning, a puddle jumper takes off into the skies over Tortola. But at 9:39, not far from Detective Hannah Sampson’s boat, it nose-dives into the water. Only moments later, Hannah and her partner are sixty feet below the surface, vying with reef sharks for any survivors.

Soon Hannah plunges into an investigation. Was one of the passengers a target? And who would want to kill a planeload of Caribbean tourists? Every lead is a dead end. And as Hannah copes with a nine-year-old survivor, a shady suspect, a shaky relationship -- and an approaching hurricane -- she wonders if she’s gotten in too deep ...

Review: Under Pressure, the aptly titled fourth underwater investigation by Kathy Brandt featuring British Virgin Islands detective Hannah Sampson, is a thrilling adventure with multiple suspense threads woven through a fast-paced plot.

The very brief first chapter succinctly sets up the mystery—a small plane carrying eleven passengers plunges into the Caribbean. Was the crash an accident or sabotage? If the latter, how was it accomplished, by whom, and for what reason? Though subtitled "an underwater investigation", most of the investigating by Hannah takes place on dry land. This minor point does not diminish the story at all, as the initial underwater scenes serve as an important first step in the solving the mystery behind the downed plane. Even with a limited number of suspects, Brandt provides a clever twist in the end that may surprise some readers.

Under Pressure concludes without completely resolving some of the personal issues in Hannah's life, keeping the door open for more intrigue in the future.

Special thanks to Breakthrough Promotions for providing a copy of Under Pressure for this review.

Review Copyright © 2006 Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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