No Wake Zone by Linda Lovely
Publisher: L and L Dreamspell
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (280 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia
A murderer taps exotic biotech know-how to kill a billionaire and a passel of his heirs. Does greed fuel the killing spree or is it something more sinister?
Visiting her crusty 79-year-old aunt in northern Iowa, Marley Clark tries to save a billionaire when he tumbles from an excursion boat captained by Marley’s cousin. But the victim—founder of a biotech empire—is dead before his body hits the water. Soon Marley is consoling the widow, an old college friend and prime murder suspect.
As Marley becomes embroiled in the investigation, members of the tycoon’s family perish faster than overripe fruit, and the arrogant head of a security firm renews a vendetta. Once the murder spree is linked to biological weapons, Marley’s former Pentagon boss joins the probe. To unmask the villains and protect her kin, Marley taps homegrown resources and debates the wisdom of trusting a handsome attorney with a suspicious past and a killer smile.
Can Marley solve the mystery before someone else falls prey to a crazed murderer?
Marley is a spunky baby boomer who doesn’t go looking for trouble, but trouble seems to find her just the same. A simple vacation to visit her aunt turns into a race against time as Marley tries desperately to prove that her old college friend, Darlene, is innocent of her husband’s murder. I really liked the fact that not every move that Marley makes is perfect. She takes several missteps in the course of her investigation that cost her time and evidence. However, this gives No Wake Zone a very realistic feel. Ms. Lovely also makes it clear that Marley isn’t superhuman. Even though Marley is strong mentally and physically, sometimes her body fails her. This makes Marley a very vivid and relatable character.
One of my favorite things about Marley is that she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. She lets her internal sense of right and wrong guide her as she navigates through life. She’s the kind of woman who is always willing to help a friend, but Marley is not so naïve as to believe her friends are infallible. She’s not afraid to ask her friends some tough questions when there are important issues that need to be cleared up. The fact that Marley is willing to stand up to her friends is a true testament to her character.
Aunt May is certainly the most interesting secondary character. She’s a tough woman who can be a bit nosy at times, but clearly cares for her friends and family. Aunt May and her antics inject some much needed humor into a story where so many people were being victimized by a killer with a horrendous agenda. I particularly liked the time Aunt May had Marley pick up a certain item of clothing at a department store for her.
I think the mystery in No Wake Zone is well thought out and moves at a good pace with a short list of suspects. It's truly an entertaining mystery. Marley is a compelling main character and her Aunt May is definitely a hoot. This is Ms. Lovely's second book following Marley and her adventures, but this tale can certainly stand on its own. Are you wondering who could be devious enough to murder so many members of Darlene’s family? Read No Wake Zone to find out!