A Jade de Jong Investigation

By Jassy Mackenzie

Soho, 2012 ($25.00)

ISBN-13: 978-1-61695-065-1

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel

Private investigator Jade DeJong is hoping that some time away with her boyfriend will revive their troubled romance, but things get off to a rocky start. First, she is approached by someone from her past asking for a favor she doesn't want to grant. Then her lover, David Patel, a police superintendent in Johannesburg, is delayed by a case, leaving her to make the trip to the beach resort in St. Lucia on her own. She discovers that learning to scuba dive is not all that easy, and that instead of inheriting her mother's skill at the sport she has her father's fear of the open sea.

To make matters worse, when Jade seeks out her mother's grave in a city near the resort, she finds a mystery. Her mother died when Jade was an infant, and all she knows of her is what her father told her. Was it all lies? She is hoping that being with David will bring some happiness, but he is distant, almost cold, adding to her stress.

Instead of a relaxing vacation, Jade is plunged into a terrifying nightmare. There are murders, abductions, threats of environmental disaster, shootings, near-drownings, not to mention angry wives, nasty cops, and unpleasant neighbors. Jade is both smart and tough, and she needs to call on all her resources to make it through and sort out the multiple crimes and the criminals committing them.

Ms. Mackenzie deftly combines a well-plotted, intense mystery with the complicated personal issues of the characters and an intriguing setting, resulting in a fine, fast-paced story. This is the fourth in the Jade DeJong Investigations. The fifth, PALE HORSES, will be published in April 2013. I highly recommend this book and the series.

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