HIGH WATER HELLION
A Luanne Fogarty Mystery
Read a review from Mystery Scene
In this fifth
installment of the Luanne Fogarty mystery series, Luanne has headed south
into the flat lake, snake, and gator country of central Florida with her
scuba gear and canoe—seems her boss, macho Detective Amado, has finally been
forced to ask Luanne's help. His beloved old aunt is dead and strange things
are disappearing into the murky watery gator-mating ground behind the old
lady’s house. And blowing east from the steamy Gulf of Mexico is a hurricane
that threatens another kind of violence. Will Luanne catch the human killers
and get back to her beloved swamp before it's too late?
characters—Pasquin, Luanne’s Cajun octogenarian neighbor, Vernon her lover
and fellow diver, and Marshall Long, medical examiner—are back for the
dangerous ride as Luanne and Tony bring them into the search while the local
law enforcement battles the wind and water of the hurricane.
“Gators, bottomless caves, mucky sinkholes, blood-sucking mosquitoes and
drippy humidity come together in a Florida swamp to provide the perfect
eerie elements for murder…. The story lines flow like the Palmetto River,
which hides another world beneath its smooth surface.”
“Inventive, stylish…manages to bring to life yet another part of Florida’s
seemingly endless killing grounds: the deep and cold freshwater springs of
the northern part of the state….”
— Dick Adler, The Chicago Tribune
"Alam's novels are thoroughly enjoyable. They
offer, in addition to a good read, a fascinating look at the swampland of
northern Florida and the world of diving in mysterious rivers and bottomless
Lauren Haney, author of the Lieutenant Bak ancient
Holiday Edition 2006
Review by Diana Vickery
Linguistic professor Luanne Fogarty moonlights as a “temp” for
police agencies in need of an experienced crime-scene diver.
Tony Amado, a sheriff’s detective from Tallahassee, Florida,
calls her from the home of his late aunt, Marta Keen, in
Ocklawaha, outside Ocala. Tony asks Luanne to travel there in
her ’84 Honda station wagon to dive in the lake near Miz Keen’s
home to locate something his aunt threw in the water. Although
she’s anticipating a hurricane will hit the Florida coast,
Luanne abandons her home to make the trek to help Tony out.
Miz Keen, a nonagenarian, had insisted an autopsy be performed
when she died. The coroner complies and is stunned to discover
she was murdered, and not the victim of a heart attack as
suspected. Luanne is reluctantly drawn into the investigation
of the old woman’s murder. Soon Miz Keen’s home is filled to
the rafters with other law-enforcement types who are called in
the case, which may include victims other than Tony’s aunt.
Luanne questions the neighbors: JoJo Bone, his wife Cara and
their oddball 14-year-old son Gil; Old Man Ferguson and his son
Burl, who runs the Fireside Bar; and Mildred Calley an elderly
friend of Miz Keen’s.
Glynn Marsh Alam presents a side of Florida few tourists see: a
dark place where everyone has secrets. The physical picture she
paints is so realistic, readers’ hair will frizz up or go limp
in the humidity, and they’ll get a creepy-crawly feeling from
her description of the creatures that inhabit the area. Luanne
Fogarty is a great heroine… gutsy with a soft side… and the
secondary characters most intriguing,. I particularly liked
Pasquin, Luanne’s neighbor, who wants her to hurry up and marry
Vernon, her current love interest and fellow diver.
High Water Hellion is the fifth Luanne Fogarty mystery.
Although I hadn’t read the first four, the book easily stood on
its own. It did make me want to go back to get more of Luanne’s
back story, and I think many readers will feel the same way.
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