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Deadly Currents - Beth Groundwater, Author


Deadly Currents – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘This was her second week on patrol as a brand-new seasonal river ranger, still under the supervision of Steve, the head river ranger.  Sure, she had run all the whitewater sections of the Upper Arkansas for years as a rafting guide… But now guides like Gonzo relied on her to rescue their customers who’d been snatched out of their grasp by the river.  Slowly Mandy gained on the second swimmer, a young woman.  The man in front of her must have fallen out of the raft first or been swept up by the main current sooner.  Though Mandy couldn’t see his face, the man seemed strangely calm, unmoving.  In contrast, the woman’s arms and legs flailed in the seething whitewater.  She bounced off a rock and got smacked in the face with backwash from a hole… “Grab on!”  Sputtering, the woman slung an arm over the nearest pontoon…  Nearing the man, Mandy blew on her whistle, but he didn’t respond… “Looks like he’s unconscious,”  Mandy shouted to the woman.  “I’m going to need your help pulling him in.”

Mandy Tanner has just made her first rescue as a river ranger.  Hannah Fowler and Tom King were both knocked out of the raft while going through some class IV rapids.  Hannah will survive from her scrapes and bruises but Tom King is another story.  He has a slight pulse but even with the CPR Mandy gives him, he’s too far gone.  King and Hannah’s father are both bidders for water rights needed for their developments.  Fowler will hopefully give some of the rights back for recreational purposes but King will need his rights to water the help water the greens of the golf course he plans to build.  The trip down the Arkansas was planned by environmentalist Lenny Preble in hopes of opening the eyes of both men to just how important the river in its natural state really is, not just for recreational purposes but also for the wild and plant life of the area.

Mandy’s real problem comes in when King’s wife decides to sue the outfitter’s owner who just happens to be Mandy’s uncle.  The only way to help out Uncle Bill will be when the Medical Examiner discovers that King died of a heart attack and not something stemming from neglect on the part of Bill’s company.  But… he didn’t have a heart attack.  He was actually murdered.  Who did it?  Why did they do it?  How did they do it?  These are the questions Mandy must find answers to before someone else dies and her suspect list took off with leaps and bounds right from the beginning.

I’ve read Beth Groundwater’s books A Real Basket Case and To Hell in a Handbasket, enjoying both tremendously.  Now she has taken me on a trip down the Arkansas River in a fast moving raft.  In Deadly Currents you will be taken through the rapids just as fast and just as deadly as the river itself.  She will also give you one last Class IV ride at the very end as she reveals the true killer.  Reading Deadly Currents has made me feel as though I’ve actually ridden the river myself.

Midnight Ink
300 pages
ISBN# 978-0-7387-2162-0

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at

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