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by Lou Allin
RendezVous Crime, October 2008
271 pages
ISBN: 189491774X

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

It's tough enough starting a new job in a new place, even if the place is a place from your past. It's tougher when the woman who wants your job is still going to be working for you, and she can probably do the job better than you in most areas. That's what Royal Canadian Mounted Police Corporal Holly Martin is looking at. She's in charge of the detachment at Fossil Bay, Vancouver Island. Her dispatcher should have had the job, except that Ann Troy has a back problem and is now consigned to desk duty. It only gets worse. Holly's first call-out is a drowning. Angie Didrickson won't be coming home alive from her senior camping trip.

Angie was popular, pretty, a good swimmer. At first glance, her drowning would seem to be a dreadful accident. It won't be that easy, not for anyone. Angie had meth in her system. As Holly checks things out, she decides to call in help. Her help is unhappy to be there, convinced he's on a fool's errand, and has many preconceived notions about the case and the people involved. Holly continues to investigate, in spite of this guy's attitude and instructions. As one might expect, Holly does unravel the puzzle.

Lou Allin has been writing mysteries for a while; her Belle Palmer series is well worth reading. AND ON THE SURFACE DIE is the first in the Holly Martin series, and it is different in many ways. Holly is younger than Belle, less secure in herself, and doesn't know her environment in the same ways that Belle does. The backbones of the stories, however, are similar. Holly notices the many faces of nature that surround her, as well as the relationships of the people. She isn't afraid to utilize the people around her who can help her. She loves her work. Allin has written a good start to this new series.

Reviewed by P.J. Coldren, December 2008

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