Monday 12 November 2012

Book ~ "Deadly Plunge" (2012) Greg Messel

From Goodreads ~ Former baseball player and newly-minted private investigator, Sam Slater is hired to find out why a rich, politically-well connected San Francisco man, Arthur Bolender, suddenly ended his life by plunging off of the Golden Gate Bridge. All those who know Arthur say unequivocally that he did not commit suicide. However, Bolender's body was found floating in San Francisco Bay and his car was abandoned in the traffic lane of the bridge. 

Meanwhile, Sam's romance with glamorous TWA stewardess Amelia Ryan continues to blossom and deepen. She is now his secret fiancee. Amelia also eagerly helps Sam solve his cases when she's in town. 

The key to unraveling the mystery seems to be a strange old Victorian-style house. Bolender's widow, a rich, seductive socialite named Maggie Bolender, was not even aware that her husband owned the house. What is really going on behind the doors of the mysterious house? Finding the answers will plunge Sam and Amelia into a dangerous world of political intrigue in the exciting sequel to "Last of the Seals".

It's 1958 ... Sam has left his baseball career behind and is moving forward as a private detective.  He is hired by the widow of Arthur Bolender to figure out why Arthur went over the Golden Gate Bridge.  Was it suicide or murder?

As Sam investigates, he discovers Arthur was involved in a possible plot to kill the Russian leader when he visits San Francisco. It was an interesting story with lots of intrigue given the time period with the cold war.  It was such a different time than today ... everyone was suspicious of the Russians then.

Sam and Amelia are engaged but keeping it a secret except to family and friends so she can continue to work as a TWA stewardess (according to their rules, stewardesses must be under 30 and single).  She helps him with the case when she's in town.

Throughout the book are pictures from that era which is a nice touch.

I found Amelia a tad immature and annoying at times.  She's 25 and Sam is always telling her how much he loves her yet she "snarls" at him while demanding that he stay away from Maggie.  Granted Maggie does put the moves on Sam but he rebuffed her and gave Amelia no reason to be jealous.  Then Amelia snapped out of it immediately and is all loving.

I found the love scenes a bit odd.  Amelia is a good Catholic girl in the 1950s and is saving herself for marriage yet things do get hot with Sam ... and then she'll suddenly bounce up and fix her hair and lipstick or make breakfast like nothing happened.

This is the second in the Sam Slater series (Last of the Seals was the first).  You can read this as a stand alone ... there are lots of references to things that had happened in the first book so you aren't lost and wondering what's going on.

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