Maeve Molley is a
lawyer in Alaska who has been suspended from practicing for three months. Now that the three months have come and gone,
Maeve is not sure that she wants to continue to practice the law. Instead she takes a job at a resort on an Alaskan
island as a dishwasher to give her time to think. A murder occurs on the first
evening of her new job. With wild
weather rolling in, everyone is trapped on the island together. The police put Maeve in charge of the
investigation as they can’t get to the island.
As she starts to piece it all together, a picture of retribution starts
to form. Who is the murderer and why?
Hell and High
Water is an engaging mystery for this time of year. I was intrigued by the mystery, setting, and the
characters and couldn’t stop reading.
Part of why I was pulled in right away was a mother thinking about her
young son, Danny and how he liked to dress as Batman. My son Danny was also a good-natured small
boy that loved to dress as Batman. Danny’s
story takes a turn south and intersects with the Catholic abuse crisis. I was horrified as a mother and as a
Catholic. I do wish though there would
have been time to explore more of the mother’s story. She placed a lot of blame rightly on the
priest, but it sounds like poor Danny had a rough childhood with a drunken,
neglectful mother that was maybe a prostitute.
This set Danny up as a perfect victim for the priest. This part of the story is set up at the start
of the novel and then you learn more about Danny’s fate and the priest’s role
as the story progresses. I liked the
honest look into how the priest abuse cycle affected so many throughout
time. It made me really sad and I’m still
thinking about it.
Maeve is an interesting
character. She is not a perfect person,
and I liked her journey. This is the
third novel in the series and the first I’ve read. I’ll admit that there was another part of the
story that didn’t quite click with me as this was my first book to read. There is an investigator named Tom that has
worked with Maeve in the past. He spends
the entire novel trying to get to her to help her out and confess his love. Unfortunately, when you first meet him, he is
having a one-night stand with someone else and a series of unfortunate not very
believable events occur. I think I could
have deleted his entire storyline. If you
are a series reader, this probably would mean much more to you.
Overall, Hell and
High Water is an intriguing mystery set in Alaska. I especially enjoyed that the mystery kept me
guessing until the end. I love being
surprised. I want to read the first two
books in this series.
Book Source: Review Copy from Level Best Books as part of
the TLC Book Tour. Thank-you! For more stops on this tour, check out this link.
About Hell and High Water
• Paperback: 282 pages
• Publisher: Level Best Books (March 31, 2020)
Alaskan attorney Maeve Malloy isn't sure she's cut out to be a lawyer. All she wants is to be treated like everyone else. Hiding her past, she takes a kitchen job at a remote lodge while she sorts out her life. The day after she lands at Fox Island, a tourist is killed and a rampaging bear has trapped her and the lodge's guests inside.
The locals cops can't get to the lodge because of a storm so they ask Maeve for help. Her cover is blown and she's thrown back into investigating the who, why, and wherefore of the murder before a killer among them can strike again.
About Keenan Powell
Keenan Powell is the award-nominated author of the Maeve Malloy Mystery series. Her first publication were illustrations in Dungeons and Dragons, 1st edition, while in high school.
Art seemed to be an impractical pursuit – she wasn’t an heiress, didn’t have the disposition to marry well, and hated teaching – so she went to law school instead. The day after graduation, she moved to Alaska, where she continues to practice law.
In 2009, there was a string of homeless deaths which the Alaska Medical Examiner had ruled were the result of natural causes. While attending a legal seminar, she learned of a little-known law that permits the medical examiner to declare death by natural causes without performing an autopsy. These deaths and that loophole inspired her to write Deadly Solution.
She won the William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic grant which led to a three-book deal with Level Best Books. Deadly Solution was published in January of 2018 and was nominated for a Lefty, Agatha, and Silver Falchion.
When not writing or practicing law, Keenan can be found connecting with readers on social media, chatting with fellow mystery authors in the Bouchercon and Crime Bake community, oil painting, or studying the Irish language.
Find out more about Keenan at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.