Ms. Wards spunky heroine is Jonie Waters, a reporter and woman of action in the best tradition of women’s fiction. She takes responsibility for herself and doesn’t wait around for anyone else to bail her out. As the prodigal daughter forced to return to her home town of Wilmington, North Carolina after more than a decade away, Jonie must face the wounds and the wounded that she left in the wake of her dramatic teenage exit. But youthful indiscretions take a back seat, when murder, suspicion and a handsome cop start complicating her life on her first day home.
Ms. Ward writes with a practiced eye for detail and builds her connection to the reader with moments of breathtaking clarity and emotional honesty. As an environmentalist, I wish Ms. Ward had presented greater depth and insights into the various environmental issues that arose in STORM SURGE. But as a lover of mysteries, I was more than satisfied. There is the occasional rough patch which is not unexpected in a debut novel. But, overall, the writing is strong, the plotting is solid, and the main character both appealing and compelling.
Bottom line, Tamara Ward is an author you’ll want to remember and Jonie Waters is a heroine and a series you’ll want to see grow and develop.