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Deadly Catch
E. Michael Helms

Seventh Street Books
11/12/2013/ ISBN 978-1616148676

Reviewed by Dennis Collins


Mac McCellan is fresh out of the Marines. He ended his three-decade career by serving in Iraq. Mac has seen enough death and destruction and hopes to begin his retirement with a relaxing fishing trip in Florida’s panhandle. Only problem is, the first time he casts his fishing line out, he snags a dead body.

Maddie Harper had been orphaned as a young girl and now her life had ended before her twenty-first birthday. Raised by an aunt and uncle, Maddie had been a popular girl who was in love with a young man who did not meet the standards of her guardians. Her boyfriend is missing as well.

Mac McClellan wants nothing to do with the investigation but when a bag of marijuana is found on his rented fishing boat, he is drawn into the nightmare. He is regarded as a person of interest in Maddie’s death.

Sheriff Bo Picron isn’t exactly friendly toward Mac but stops short of accusing him of murder. The dead girl was Sheriff Picron’s niece. You might say that their relationship is tenuous.
Things get more complicated when Mac finds the wrecked and sunken boat belonging to Maddie’s boyfriend. It’s as if these clues are being dangled in front of him.

And then Sheriff Bo Picron approaches Mac and asks him for some very discreet help. He wants to deputize Mac.
Like any small town, the closets in this village are full of skeletons.

While some communities have their love triangles this little hamlet has more of a Rubik’s Cube with the players changing partners more frequently than square dancers. Even though Maddie’s family and that of her boyfriend were involved in a decades long feud, it seem that there was enough fence jumping and bed hopping to write a book about.

Is this what caused the environment that led to the death of an innocent young college girl? It surely seems that way.

This is the first in the Mac McClellan series and it looks like the author has a winner. The story moves along at a good clip with just the right mix of violence and romance. Well-balanced and well told, it’s a very good book.

Reviewed 2014