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    Review of SURFACE TENSION by Christine Kling

    Ballantine Books, December 2002

    When she hears a mayday, Seychelle Sullivan thinks she has a chance to make some serious money. With her salvage business barely hanging on, rescuing a multimillion dollar yacht would help a lot. What doesn't help is a dead woman, a missing ex-boyfriend, and the police thinking that Seychelle looks like the perfect suspect. Seychelle descends into a nightmare of evil. Her brother is sabotaging her business, another longtime friend ends up dead with Seychelle the last person to see her alive, and Florida gangsters threatening her every way she turns.

    Seychelle is an intriguing character with a sympathetic backstory and realistic ambitions. Once the police decide that she is the killer, she has no choice but to investigate on her own--and it seems like everyone she decides to trust is the wrong one.

    Author Christine Kling writes convincingly of Florida, the sea, and the maritime industries that link land and sea. Occasionally the action becomes frenetic and it is easy to lose track of exactly who is doing what to whom, but Seychelle plunges from one action to the next letting readers catch up wherever we can. As a first novel, SURFACE TENSION is a little rough around the edges, but it is certainly an enjoyable read. I'm already looking forward to my next Kling novel.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 1/16/03

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