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by Vicki Delany
Orca Books, October 2017
144 pages
$9.95 CAD
ISBN: 1459815351

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Toronto-based paramedic Ashley Grant is in search of a break from her routine, understandable since she'd recently walked in on her husband in bed with his best friend's wife. Located in the Western Caribbean, the Victoria and Albert Islands seem to be just the ticket. But within moments of arriving she's pressed into service, responding to a call about a man whose boat has capsized.

What begins as a rescue operation quickly turns into a recovery mission, as the man has drowned. As they take him to shore his wife and grown daughter arrive on the beach, horrified. It's only moments, however, before the daughter, Sally, accuses her stepmother of engineering the man's death. Julian was a wealthy dot-com entrepreneur, and she claims the woman killed him for his money.

It only takes moments before the daughter recognizes Ashley. It turns out they had been schoolmates in Toronto. Ashley tries to calm her down, but Sally is insistent that her stepmother murdered her father, and enlists her help in proving it. She is pleased to learn that a local police officer, Sergeant Alan Westbrooke, is on leave from the RCMP and handling the case.

Newly arrived on the small island, Ashley is ill-prepared for what awaits her. When the forensic evidence comes in she learns that the man, Julian Hunt, had a head wound that could have been intentional, or merely caused by falling overboard from the small watercraft. But when she searches for the boat attendant responsible for lending the man the boat, things take an ominous turn. Her search for the truth will take Ashley back in time, as she discovers that things are not always as simple as they seem.

Canadian crime writer Vicki Delany has served up yet another entertaining standalone in WHITE SAND BLUES, part of the Orca series of Rapid Reads. The novellas—this one runs to 144 pages—are geared to crime fans in search of a quick read, necessarily light on character but long on action, and this one does not disappoint; it will especially appeal to snowbirds who are, at this time of year, looking for something to divert them from what is assuredly to come. A good choice, then, for that post-Christmas flight to warmer climes.

§ Since 2005 Jim Napier's reviews and interviews have appeared in several Canadian newspapers and on various crime fiction and literary websites. His own crime novel, LEGACY, was published in the Spring of 2017. He can be reached at jnapier@deadlydiversions.com

Reviewed by Jim Napier, December 2017

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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