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By Christine Kling

Ballantine Books, October 2004
ISBN: 0-345-44829-4

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

CROSS CURRENT is the second in a series featuring Seychelle Sullivan, the operator of a tugboat inherited from her father. She is working on a salvage job when called away to help a friend who has a dead battery and needs a tow. Before she reaches her friend's boat she discovers a swamped boat adrift in the Gulf Stream. She defies the Coast Guard rules about immediately reporting such incidents and chooses, instead, to bring the swamped boat under tow. She heads straight back to port, hoping to find at least a temporary sanctuary for the young Haitian child who was adrift in the swamped craft.

Syechelle is a charming yet fiesty character and a welcome addition to ranks of female sleuths. All of the characters are engaging and the author's writing style is breezy, bringing the reader right into this tangled tale of smuggling and illegal immigrants in sunny Florida. Instead of the usual contraband of drugs and weapons, the smugglers are dealing in human cargo. Seychelles' past, present, and future are intertwined and one mistake now may prove fatal if she trusts the wrong person.

This series will appeal to a wide range of readers from those who like their mysteries with a touch of humor and romance to those who like a strong female character up against nearly insurmountable odds. Fans of mysteries set in Florida will also be pleased. I loved the nautical setting, even though I'm not normally a fan of Floridian mysteries.

I'm eager to pick up a copy of SURFACE TENSION, the first book in the series. And I do hope there will be many more adventures for Seychelle and her friends.

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