Fiction Book Log
Salem Express May 2007
Salem Express was a ferry that sank in 1991 while crossing from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Safaga, Egypt, taking most of its passengers to
the bottom of the Red Sea. John J. Duggan uses the tragedy to launch a fictitious plot brimming with international intrigue in his 442-page
soft cover from Authorhouse. Divers Bret Davis and Patrick Donovan kick open an anthill of terrorists when they visit the wreck to film a
documentary. They are perceived as spies by mujahedins who are hell-bent to recover materiel from the wreck to continue their holy war
against America. Ties to the terrorist network spread from the Middle East to Boston to Spokane, Washington, as the CIA, a rogue U.S.
company and our intrepid heroes struggle to avert disaster on American soil. Duggan calls upon his 34 years in the Air Force, capped with
serving as chief of intelligence at Randolph Air Force Base, and thousands of dives as a scuba instructor to add realism to the plot.
ISBN: 978-1-4259-8498-4. www.authorhouse.com.
Dive into LA adventure June 2007
Any diver considering a California trip this summer should pick up Flooding Hollywood for the plane ride. Reading Eric Douglas’s 205-
page soft cover novel from Publish America will certainly have more adventure than the in-flight movie. It begins innocently enough with
photographer Mike Scott doing a photo shoot of an actress off Catalina Island. But the shoot uncovers activities of drug smugglers with
more dastardly criminal intentions and the plot quickly starts to trot as Scott races to thwart disaster in the City of Angels. Along the way
readers get virtual dives in kelp forests and with a sea lion. Douglas’s background as a diver since 1990 and an instructor since 1998 adds a
veneer of realism to the adventure tale, which is his second novel. His first, Cayman Cowboys was set off Sunset House on Grand Cayman
Island. ISBN: 1-4241-2872-2. www.booksbyeric.com.
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A hot read April 2007
Summer’s here and so is a high-adventure read that’s great to stuff into the bag as you head to the beach or a liveaboard dive boat. John H.
Hanzl’s 280-page soft cover Out Of Hell’s Kitchen from iUniverse is a suspense-filled action-packed novel with a plot that has more twists
than Haldane’s goats. Starting with a drug death of the protagonist’s best pal and mother in England, a move to New York’s Hell’s Kitchen,
an uncle who seems to behind the deaths, the plot sprints through a shadowy world of clandestine submarines, motorcycle chases and
scuba escapes. There’s a shaky sense of who and what to trust as the international intrigue caroms around the globe from England to the U.
S. to Honduras and Cuba before it winds up to a finish that will keep readers turning pages. Hanzl, currently a diver with the New England
Aquarium, taps his various careers as a bike messenger and engineer to pull together an exciting read. ISBN: 0-595-39507-4
Whale of a tall tale January 2007
Long Island author Paul Mila’s second mystery, Whales’ Angels, weaves such a believable web of fiction that you wonder about the
truthfulness of his office memos and business reports before he retired from the corporate world to write novels. As with his first book,
“Dangerous Waters”, all newlyweds Terry Hunter and her husband, ex-New York City detective Joe Manetta, want to do is start a family.
But a tip from a fellow tourist while they’re vacationing in Cozumel sends them on a globetrotting adventure. It seems that a North Atlantic
whale poaching operation that involves the murder of activists trying to stop it is deeply rooted in governments from Iceland to Japan. In
trying to save the whales and bring the cover-up to light, Terry and Joe get snarled in the seedy realm of international politics. Mila’s
avocation as an underwater photographer helps make the diving sections believable, and his photos give a sense of the beauty beneath the
waves to this 250-page soft cover book. ISBN: 978-1-4259-3937-3 Learn more at www.whalesangels.com.
Fly through a novel February 2007
Paul J. Mila’s Dangerous Waters is a good romance novel to stuff into your carryon while heading to a dive vacation or to read while
wishing you were. The pace is fast in this 212-page soft cover from AuthorHouse books. This is the book in which Californian Terry
Hunter meets New York detective Joe Manetta in Cozumel, which set the stage for Mila’s recently released second novel “Whales’ Angels”.
Like “Angels” this plot is full of dizzying turns that take readers from a deadly California shark attack to Caribbean diving with a dishonest
dive shop operation, a cocaine crackdown, an attempted hit on our heroine and a rescue by dolphins to keep the adrenalin flowing. Only
fictional characters can have such edgy lives, thank heavens, but Mila’s background as a diver does add a sense of reality to the water-
based activities. Crack open the cover as the jet taxis to takeoff and you’ll be able to swap this quick read with your seatmate by the time it
lands in Quintano Roo. ISBN: 1-4184-0919-7. www.milabooks.com.
Dive into a murder mystery August 2006
Diving pulp mystery junkies will get a double fix off Kathy Brandt’s Under Pressure, An Underwater Investigation, the recently released
soft cover from Signet books. It’s the latest in her series of adventures by homicide detective Hannah Sampson that’s also included
“Dangerous Depths,” “Dark Water Dive” and “Swimming With The Dead.” A puddle jumper aircraft plummeting into the water
conveniently close to Hannah’s boat off the British Virgin Islands launches the latest adventure for the intrepid heroine. She races to track
seemingly dead-end clues to the perpetrator of the apparent murder as a hurricane bears down on the island. Brandt keeps the pace moving
quickly through the 259 pages, and works in environmental messages and diving details throughout the book in a way that would draw non-
divers to the sport. Hannah, sort of a modern-day Nancy Drew in a wetsuit, is a dynamic role model. When you finish breezing through this
book, make sure you pass it on to your daughters or nieces. ISBN: 0-451-21878-7. Learn more at www.ksbrandt.com.
Shoals a good mystery June 2008
Divers heading to play with the seals on the Isle of Shoals this summer might get a kick out reading Anita Shreve's 1997 book The Weight
Of Water or picking up the Lions Gate Films 2000 DVD of it, starring Elizabeth Hurley, Sean Penn, Josh Lucas and Catherine McCormack.
It's a mystery based on a centuries-old murder on Smutty Nose Island. A modern day foursome sails to the island as much to track
evidence of the murder for a photo assignment as to repair the strains on their own relationships by what should be a fun getaway. In
getting her shots, the photog found parallels in her own life to that the woman who survived the axing, and that the man executed for the
crime on the survivor's testimony most likely was innocent. DVD viewers see footage of Smutty Nose, where it was filmed, but may need
to read the book to follow the convoluted plot that jumps frequently between present and past. If they aren't in your local library, they can
be found on Amazon. The soft-cover book's ISBN: 0-316-78037-5.
A novel angle on diving August 2008
Great Lakes and travel divers may get a kick out of The Other Side of Hell, a 306-page soft cover novel from Packard Island Publishing.
Ohio author Bob Adamov wove his local turf into a fast-paced plot that takes readers to the Florida Keys and Grand Cayman Island as well.
What begins as a nice winter vacation getaway for "Washington Post" reporter Emerson Moore turns into anything but relaxing as he
pursues leads on everything from the fictional disappearance of Adolph Hitler's pirate fleet to drug dealers to the Cuban missile crisis of the
1960s, with murders, love intrigue and general mayhem along the way. Incorporating real-life resorts like Cayman's DiveTech and Sunset
House lends realism to the Clive Cussler-style plot. Making it even more believable is a music compact disk that accompanies the book with
11 songs by Put-in-Bay, Ohio, singer Mike "Mad Dog" Adams, who also plays a role in the plot.
ISBN: 0978618416. www.BobAdamov.com.
This novel's a breeze (September 2008)
Readers who survived this season's hurricanes may want to take a break from cleaning up by picking up Bob Adamov's 2005 thriller When
Rainbows Walk. The 360-page hard cover from Packard Island Publishing adds depth to dauntless reporter Emerson Moore. On this
assignment, he leaves his Put-in-Bay, Ohio, home for the Florida Keys to report on the ravages of Hurricane Charley. Nothing is ever so
simple as covering a deadly storm for Emerson, who meets up with an ex-SEAL buddy Sam Duncan to become embroiled in webs of
conflicting forces spun by terrorists, drug smugglers, a Mafioso in witness protection and contract killers, with a shark attack to liven
things up. The plot swirls around an attempt to use Charley as a cover to steal Mel Fisher's treasure from the Atocha, the Spanish ship that
sank in a hurricane in 1622 off the Keys. Pages turn as fast as the action above and below water. Adamov blends suspenseful fiction with
reality. While researching the book, hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne hammered Florida residents to whom he dedicates the
book. A portion of sales is donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. ISBN: 0-929774-35-4. www.BobAdamov.com.
Novel way to foil terrorists December 2008
Paul J. Mila brought his husband and wife team of Terry Hunter and retired detective Joe Manetta out of retirement so divers have a
page-turner adventure novel to read while ice freezes over their favorite dive sites. Fireworks is a 288-page hardcover from Authorhouse
that has the couple leave their cozy Cozumel retirement nest to battle terrorism in Joe's old beat of New York City. A Navy SEAL's
interception of intelligence while nearly taking out Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan kicks off the globe-trotting plot. It seems Al Qaida aims to
strike the Big Apple during a July 4th visit by Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary 2. The Central Intelligence Agency prevails upon Hunter
and Manetta to derail its plans, which they do with the help a trained dolphin and some heart-pounding underwater action. Retired NYPD
detectives who served as advisors to Mila and Cozumel locals who will be familiar names to divers who frequent the island add to the
realism of action-packed novel. ISBN: 978-1-4389-0069-8. www.milabooks.com.
Cop dives into mystery January 2009
You'll wonder what's in the water while reading Barracuda. Mike Monahan's first novel blends detective, eco-disaster and spy plots into a
236-page-turner. The dive master and ex-New York City cop opens his soft cover from Book Surge on firm ground. His protagonist, New
York detective Mick O'Shaughnessy decides a vacation at Bikini Atoll is what's needed to overcome jangled nerves and the gunshot wound
that shook them up. There's no rest in this dive paradise, though, as he stumbles upon an international money laundering operation, a battle
between natives and developers and a turf war between Russian and Japanese mobsters. Forget about escaping topside perils by plunging
into the water. Beneath the waves lurks the mother of all barracudas, a giant mutated by atomic bomb tests there that has developed a taste
for sport divers. Monahan's police, diving and international travel background help him weave a suspense-filled tale that resolves almost all
of the elements, leaving the door open for a follow up. ISBN: 978-1419684029. www.mikemonahanbooks.com.