I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Adrift by Micki Browning
Published by Alibi on January 10th 2017
Genres: Fiction, General, Mystery, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Thriller
Buy on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, GooglePlay, Kobo, Publisher
In this breathtaking mystery debut, marine biologist–turned-divemaster Meredith Cavallo stands accused of a chilling crime after a dive gone wrong. But do the murky circumstances point to an accident, a murder, or a supernatural encounter?
Mer thought adjusting to a laid-back life in the Florida Keys would be a breeze. But when she rescues a floundering diver who claims to have seen a ghost, she’s caught in a storm of intrigue. News of the encounter explodes on social media, attracting a team of ghost hunters who want to capture proof that a greenish ghoul haunts Key Largo’s famed USS Spiegel Grove shipwreck.
Meredith knows the wreck inside and out, and agrees to act as their safety diver. When Ishmael, the charismatic leader of the group, vanishes during a midnight dive, everyone except Mer is convinced the ghost has claimed another victim. Topside, the tenacious detective in charge of the investigation finds Mer’s involvement in both incidents suspicious, and her enigmatic neighbor resurrects ghosts from her past.
Determined to find a rational explanation, Mer approaches Ishmael’s disappearance as any scientist would—by asking questions, gathering data, and deducing the truth. But the victim’s life is as shrouded in mystery as his disappearance. Still, something happened under the water and before long, she’s in over her head. When someone tries to kill her, she knows the truth is about to surface. Maybe dead men do tell tales after all.
Adrift is the debut novel for author Micki Browning – and it’s amazing. Mer, a safety diver who saves a man while babysitting a set of tourists, is thrown into an epic mystery about a ghost, a murder and starring the dysfunctional crew of a paranormal investigation team. Mer becomes part of the safety divers for a paranormal investigator’s documentary on a ship wreck that the diver Mer rescued had seen a ghost. The head of the documentary, Ishmael goes missing under water and Mer becomes the prime suspect in murder. Meanwhile, Mer begins to suspect that not all is above board with Ishmael and his paranormal investigative team and vows to unearth the truth – even if it destroys her. What she finds may not be what she was expecting..
I loved this novel and couldn’t put it down. I mean, struggling marine biologist, diving, an underwater mystery, paranormal documentary AND shipwrecks? Yes, pleaase.
Adrift is one part mystery and one part drama. While the police investigate Mer, we follow Mer as she investigates the mystery of the haunted ship wreck that inevitably leads us to an unexpected conclusion. Browning sets the stage by creating an “interesting” dynamic between all the members of the paranormal crew as well as bringing in Mer’s shifty ex-boyfriend at just the right time. The reader is suspicious of most of the cast while also being lead along on the dramatic roller coaster that is Mer’s romantic and personal life.
Personally, I loved that Browning created a novel filled with suspense and suspicion. The two S’s are interspersed by strong emotive descriptions, intense action scenes and a strong plot. I read this book cover to cover in one night and was left wanting more..thankfully this is book one of the Mer Cacallo Mystery.
Most shocking, this is a debut novel that is written as if it were written by an experienced writer (pen name, perhaps?). Browning hits all the stops, breathes life into her stories and yet doesn’t let the plot wither – something that is rare in a new writer. I would definitely recommend Adrift to anyone who loves a good mystery with complex romance or even just a novel that defies expectations on both the skill front and the plot front. I DID NOT SEE THAT ENDING COMING!
This book will appeal to readers who enjoy mystery, complex romance, suspense, novels about the ocean and marine biologists who daylight as a safety diver and novels that defy the norm. I would not suggest this novel to those who are looking for a dreary DNF novel because you will be up all night reading this one until the very end.