Author: Steph Broadribb
Publisher: Orenda Books
Deep Blue Trouble (DBT) is the sequel to the rather splendid Deep Down Dead (DDD) (see my review here), and follows on immediately. Now, if you haven’t read DDD I strongly suggest that you do do (hehe, I typed “do do”). Steph gives away the whole kit and the kerboodle of DDD within the first 50 pages or so. So, you have been warned. Don’t say I didn’t warn you otherwise I shall send my mum round and no-one needs my mum round. Not even me.
DBT is another rip roaring, hum-dinger of a book by Steph. As I’ve mentioned above, it follows on immediately from the events of DDD with our protagonist and all round kick-ass heroine, Lori Anderson, presented with yet another dodgy as shit-but-has-to-take-it job, this time bringing in Gibson “The Fish” Fletcher for wobbly FBI guy, Alex Monroe. Now, before we go on, Gibson “The Fish” Fletcher isn’t some Guillermo Del Toro amphibious creature type played by Doug Jones who has escaped from some secret government facility and is on the run stealing bottles of Evian to throw over himself and squatting in people’s hot-tubs and swimming pools, no, as cool as that would be *takes breath*. He is a thief, specialising in robbing from boats moored up around the marinas of Florida, approaching them unseen from the waterside of the boat. Anyhoo, one sunny day his simple, everyday robbing turns to…….moider! I mean……murder, apparently slaughtering a rich couple in their boat, leaving their two young children to witness the extremely bloody aftermath. Now I saw apparently because, this being a Steph Broadribb novel, of course things aren’t as simple as that. PAH, Steph laughs at your idea of simple. She mocks you and your preconceived ideas of what a simple storyline is. She does, I’ve heard her. Well, not heard her, that would be weird as I don’t know her, but I have imagined her laughing at you. Ummm, where was I? Oh yeah, anyway, without giving too much away, Lori is forced into taking the job to find Fletcher, apprehend him and bring him back to Monroe (the aforementioned wobbly FBI dude), in order to save her one-time mentor JT’s arse.
To say any more about the plot would obviously spoil the huge fun to be had inside this book (and to also ruin DDD a bit). Steph knows how to construct a tightly plotted, breathlessly paced, action packed, character driven novel that reads like the best blockbuster action movies you’ll see at the moving picture houses. There’s twists and turns and set pieces aplenty. Lori herself is a great character; rounded, assertive, fallible, likeable and compassionate, and she is ably assisted by a great supporting cast of varied characters; some of them likeable, or grow-to-likeable, and others utterly unlikeable; those whom you can’t wait to see get their just desserts.
While both DDD and DBT are connected, they can be read as standalone books in their own right, as long as you don’t mind spoilers for the previous one, and the way is left wide open at the end of DBT for the inevitable third book – and hopefully 4th, 5th, etc books.
Deep Blue Trouble is an enormously fun read that you’ll finish in no time at all. Roll on the third installment. RidicuRating(TM) 50/5