I was fortunate enough to win a copy of this book in paperback – something I haven’t read for a while, and it reminded me why I should return to reading on paper at times, instead of on screen.
Swamp Ghosts by Marcia Meara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There’s nothing quite like reading a book that successfully blends genres, and this one does it extremely well. I’m not sure if you’d class it as a ‘romantic murder mystery’, or a ‘murder mystery with romance’, but hey, you get the picture.
Maggie Devlin is a strong woman, running her own river boat tour business with confidence and a genuine desire to give her clients the best possible eco experience on the St Johns River in Central Florida. When the over-large and impossibly good-looking man with more than a passing resemblance to the Viking god Thor makes his uneasy way down the pier to her boat, she takes immediate affront at his opening words, and has to clamp a firm control on her desire to tell him to get lost when he outlines his lucrative business proposition. Unfortunately, Maggie needs the money.
Swamp Ghosts was a real treat to read; characters with depth and convincing backgrounds, relationships that unfurled in a beautiful and believable manner, fabulous setting, delightful dialogue, humour, animals, and great writing throughout. The serial killer thread develops naturally out of the romantic story, and the author skilfully weaves in more than one plausible red herring to keep you guessing.
Like Maggie, I don’t always have great trust in men, and like her, I was shocked as hell when I discovered the identity of the killer – very well done, Mrs Meara!
The other aspect of this book that added enjoyment for me, was learning more about the wildlife of the area, and in particular the reptiles. In my youth, I used to keep a variety of snakes, and once in a while I might just forget to warn a visitor that if they used the bathroom, they would be sharing it with a 6 foot python having her weekly swim in the bath. Go read the book, then you’ll understand why that resonated with me…
I have only one reservation about this story – I find it hard to believe that men like Gunn really exist. I am, however, willing to be proven wrong…
Highly recommended if you like romance, suspense, and especially wild life.
About the author
Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of 29 years, four cats, and two dachshunds. When not working on her writing or blogs, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that a mere 65 years later, she is finally pursuing that dream. She has published five books to date:
Marcia keeps two blogs:
Bookin’ It: http://marciameara.wordpress.com
And she hosts the multi-author blog: The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/
You can reach Marcia via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the following social media sites: