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.
• 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.