White Water, Black Death by Shaun Ebelthite

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At first, I was convinced right along with the characters that there is a terrorist attack on the cruise ship, the Symphony. It opens with a janitor and it is obvious that he is unwell, especially when he vomits into his mop bucket and then continues cleaning. It’s very  curious, not to mention beyond disgusting, that anyone would do this. Right off the bat, I thought this was a bad omen.

Geneva Jones, a past journalist and current editor of CruiseCritique.com, is on board to get the biggest story of her life. Rachel Atkinson, CEO for the cruise line, is celebrating the birthday of the line, and her son, Aaron, is on board, as well. She has promised Geneva a private interview. Geneva is not a fan of the CEO, who she finds to be a little too cagey and her avoidance of questions leads Geneva to be suspicious of her motives. For now, Geneva is going to enjoy herself and make friends (I.E. usable acquaintances).

Aaron is in college and doesn’t know why his mother insists he be on this cruise. He is bored to tears and his high hopes of forming a closer relationship with her is not happening. Rachel has always been an at-arm’s-length type of mom, trying to do what is right while not getting too close. Aaron knows in Rachel’s eyes, the cruise line is always first. Happily, Aaron has met Sarah, who is near his age and has a baby. He likes babies, or at least Sarah’s, and he thinks he has made a friend.

There are lots of interesting characters in this book. The plot is complex, but very engrossing. I quickly became attached to the players, especially Geneva. Her greatest joy is searching for the weakness in Rachel’s armor. Geneva’s gung-ho attitude encourages her to risk the chance of discovery in several sneaky situations, and she seems to enjoy pulling Aaron along behind her, Sarah consequently following.

It looks like everyone in this story has something to hide. Rachel is resigning her position. Richard, her COO, is hoping to stab her in the back – metaphorically speaking – and steal her position with her company. Aaron wonders why Rachel adopted him from Uganda when he was ten. Even several of the employees have their hands full. Lots and lots of secrets.

Readers who enjoy mysteries will certainly enjoy this book. There is a lot of danger that leads to a lot of questions. This was a fast read, because I could hardly put it down.

The rating:

  • Genre and general reading age – I shove this book on the shelf of Mysteries and claim the reading age to be mostly adult, since it is quite a winding tale.
  • Level of sexuality – There are a couple of scenes where it is left pretty much to your imagination.
  • Is there graphic language? Not anything that bothered me.
  • Did I cry? No.
  • Did I laugh? No.
  • Is this part of a series? No.
  • Level of character development – Aaron was the only one I felt needed a little bit of maturing and I think he got that by the end of the story. The others couldn’t have gotten any better.

I award this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars.

Available here on Amazon

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