NIGHT DIVER - Elizabeth Lowell
William Morrow - www.harpercollins.com
Hardcover: ISBN: 978-006213826
Island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean - Present Day
Kate Donnelly was hoping never to return to her childhood home, but when her brother Larry begs her to return to St. Vincent to help save her family's marine recovery business, she can't refuse. All Kate knows is that she needs to sort out the business's books because her brother and grandfather are divers, not accountants. They have signed a contract with the British to salvage a Spanish wreck, but Moon Rose Limited needs an advance from the Brits to keep the dive going. One would think that Kate would be eager to return to her childhood home—after all, a beautiful Caribbean island with white beaches and clear water is nothing to scoff at. But Kate has terrible memories of what happened one evening fifteen years ago, and the traumatic events of that night are still a nightmare she knows she will have to face when she returns to St. Vincent.
Holden Cameron has been hired by the British government as an accountant to consult on the dive project at St. Vincent. The Moon Rose Ltd. project will be shut down or will stay open based on his recommendation. Kate is at the airport, waiting for Holden, and when she meets him, she is struck by his intensity and his striking eyes. She was told Holden is an accountant, but his fitness and general looks indicate he, too, may be a diver. Immediate attraction turns to dislike when Kate realizes that Holden has been sent to "plug the money holes" and that underneath that hot exterior, he is all ice.
Holden is hardly immune to Kate's looks and attitude. She is smart, pretty, and a redhead. Too bad he can't mix business and pleasure on this trip. The business part means uncovering if the government's suspicions of incompetence and theft on the dive are well-founded, and since Kate is one of the Donnellys, it wouldn't do to become personally attached. Reservations notwithstanding, Holden and Kate have to fight their mutual attraction, and every day it becomes more and more difficult. Meanwhile, there are strange happenings on the ship and with the divers, and as Holden and Kate attempt to unearth the puzzling events, they find that working together might be more beneficial than they originally thought.
A fast-paced and satisfying read, NIGHT DIVER is one of those I-couldn't-put-it-down books. I read it in a night. This book is finely crafted and a great reminder of how satisfying a well-planned and streamlined romantic thriller can be when done right. And let's face it; Elizabeth Lowell is a master of the romantic adventure genre. The characters are likeable, interesting, well-rounded and engaging, even though there isn't an abundance of romantic conflict. The setting was interesting, and given that most people don't know a thing about salvaging wrecks, I'd venture a guess that most of us thought the details were accurate. There are suspenseful parts, and although the suspense is not adrenaline inducing, it was more than enough to keep me from shutting the book down for the night.
All in all, NIGHT DIVER is a very good read and one I recommend to romantic suspense lovers.