Book Review: Surface Tension, by Christine Kling

Pin It

Meet Seychelle Sullivan

What the great start to the Seychelle Sullivan series!  The first book, Surface Tension, was excellent.  I was pleasantly surprised as I read (listened in my case) to this story of murder and adventure.

I’ve been reading a variety of Florida authors.  Most of us are aware Florida has a rather unique reputation.  We’ve heard of so many unusual “situations” there from the media.  Between the variety of the landscape from the beach to the Everglades,  and  the large cities like Miami compared to the small town of the keys, there are unlimited settings for dramatic novels.  Nearly as large is variety of interesting, sometimes shady, characters that inhabit the state.

Seychelle Sullivan doesn’t seem a typical lead character.  Her career choice is probably very unusual. She owns and runs a salvage ship, the one that her father ran before his death.  She is a strong woman, very capable, yet has her own demons that haunt her.  I found her very likable, though at times I wished she would spend a little more time thinking before she rushed into danger.

The Story

When she hears a  mayday call from another ship, she is on her boat in minutes, heading out to sea.  She plans on being the first to the boat in jeopardy.  Partly to get any salvage rights, partly because the 92 foot yacht happens to belong to her ex-boyfriend, a man she is still fond of.

She is the first one there, feeling victorious at the prospect of the salvage claim.  Her pleasure evaporates when she sees the body of a young woman, covered in blood.  There is no sign of her ex-boyfriend.

The next thing she knows, the police suspect her of multiple murder.  With longtime good friend, BJ, and her motherly attorney, she is compelled to find her ex-boyfriend—if he is still alive—and find the truth.

What she finds is far worse than simple murder.  Seychelle’s own past has made her protective of children.  A teen she befriended is found brutally killed.  Still another needs her help.  Young women, living in a home meant to keep them safe, are being manipulated and murdered.

In a round about, exciting story, Seychelle finds herself caught up in human trafficking, murder and the obsession that comes from greed.  At the same time her own brother is trying to put her out of business.

My Thoughts 

Book two is this series is already in my cart for purchase.  I really enjoyed the story.  The author has clearly living around boats.  She included enough detail and explanation for the reader to see the various craft.  The life of a salvager was intriguing as well.

The only part I did think didn’t fit was how irrational Seychelle was in some of her actions.  She ran right into several obviously dangerous situations without any planning whatsoever.  That didn’t fit with her intelligence.  Still, it increased the level of fear for her life.  Maybe that was the point of it.

It will be interesting to see how she develops in future books.  So far there are four books in her series.  Besides the Seychelles Sullivan series, the author has written several other books, including the Shipwreck adventure series.   If you enjoy books that include boats, the mysteries and power of the sea, and the Florida coast, you will surely appreciate Ms. Klings writings.

The book was great in audio too.  The narrator, Laural Merlington, did a very good job distinguishing voices, and suited Seychelles very well.  I would highly recommend the book for listening.

Book 2 in the Seychelle Sullivan series…


A Shipwreck Adventure

If you enjoy adventure novels, a shipwreck is hard to resist!  This is the first in the Shipwreck Adventure series.  I’ll have to try this one too.


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment