by Doward Wilson
This week we have a review of the thriller Deep Waters written by Linda Reid and Deborah Shlian, and an interview with Linda. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Deep Waters. There is also a link to purchase it Amazon. Don’t miss Linda’s guest post about her book Elementary, My Dear Spock.
Deep Waters by Linda Reid and Deborah Shlian
Review by Doward Wilson
Sammy Greene is a radio talk show host who has been invited to spend a summer in Greece with her old friend and his family, Gus Pappajohn. Gus is a retired cop who lives in Boston. Sammy currently lives in Los Angeles but is relocating to a new radio job in New York.
Six years earlier, Sammy was filming a CNN news segment about the discovery of an ancient shipwreck off the Greek coast. Unknown to her and the crew the ship contained relics that could shake the tenuous harmony between ancient Greek history and Christianity. When her cameraman dies in an undersea accident, Sammy closes the segment down.
Six years later Sammy again becomes involved with the shipwreck when relics go on display at the Hellenic Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece. Sammy, Gus and his family members attend the opening only to have one of the two professors involved in the display murdered. The murdered professor and his colleague held opposing views on the origins of both the shipwreck and the relics. As the murder investigation starts up, Gus is asked to assist thanks to his connections in the computer world of finding deleted computer files. Sammy becomes involved and soon the two are deep into an ancient conspiracy and religious sect who don’t want the truth to come out. Sammy soon realizes that there is a great archaeological hidden treasure at the core of the murder and that exposing the truth behind the relics and shipwreck could get her killed.
This archaeological thriller was a fantastic read. The characters and story are brought to life by the authors well written words. The murder plot is an intricate and twisted one that combines hearsay, hidden treasure and a secret religious sect. I really enjoyed how the characters and scenery leaped off the pages and submerged you into their world. I highly recommend this for any thriller and mystery reader!
Interview with Linda Reid:
KRL: How long have you been writing?
Linda: Actually, I wrote my first “book” when I was eight, a story of a girl who ran off to join the circus. I must have been very trope-influenced. At age 10, I began publishing the first newsletter for our neighborhood in Bethesda, Maryland. Alas, I abandoned this project after a few issues and did not come up with the idea for a Nextdoor app that I could take to an IPO.
My professional career began with essays and features in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, LA Times, Tribune International, Woman’s Day, American Film, and other print sources. I began several novels in my 20s and 30s, but Deborah Shlian and I finally finished our first Sammy Greene thriller, Dead Air, published by Oceanview, and a winner of the Royal Palm Literary Award, a few years later. Devil Wind, Book 2, followed, and also won the Royal Palm best thriller award, as well as other awards. I also wrote the first book of my science fiction trilogy, The Zygan Emprise: Renegades, in the 2000s, and it won a Mensa Sharp Writ Books Award. Renegades was followed by Redemption and, last year, Rebirth, to complete the trilogy, which I wrote under a different pen name, Y. S. Pascal. However, a book of which I remain especially proud is Elementary, My Dear Spock, co-authored with Mary W. Matthews in 1984. And therein lies a tale…(You can learn all about it here in Linda’s guest post in this issue)
KRL: When did your first novel come out? What was it called? Can you tell us a little about it?
Linda: Dead Air (2009) was our first published novel, based loosely on my and Deborah Shlian’s experiences working at a major university student health center. Our protagonist, campus radio talk-show host Sammy Greene, stumbles on the murder of a beloved professor, and the disappearance of several students at an Ivy League University in the Northeast. In search of answers, she locks horns with University administration, campus Police Chief Gus, and wealthy pharmaceutical donors. She risks her life to expose the dark side of public-private partnerships in academia. In Book 2, Devil Wind (2011) Sammy and Gus search for Gus’ missing daughter in a shaking and baking LA. The girl is at the mercy of a rogue CIA agent and his experimental and dangerous weapon. Deep Waters (2019), Book 3, is set among the azure waters of the Greek Isles, where Sammy and Gus race to solve two modern murders and an ancient mystery. I hope readers enjoy all three books. They are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense? If not what else have you written?
Linda: I was one of the authors of multiple columns for the LA Times’ Doctor Files feature for many years. And, I did feature articles for the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun, movie reviews for the Washington Tribune, and a syndicated column for Tribune International.
KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series?
Linda: Sammy is a dynamic character from New York’s Lower East Side who was raised by her Yiddish-speaking grandmother after her father’s abandonment and her mother’s suicide. She’s tough as nails with a heart of gold. My co-author, Deborah Shlian, drew on her own happier childhood experiences to round out Sammy and her Bubbe Rose. Gus Pappajohn and his family are based on some of my Greek and Greek-American family members. And, we couldn’t resist bringing Sammy and Gus to Greece in our latest novel Deep Waters.
KRL: Do you have other mystery series as well?
Linda: Deborah has a new series starting with Silent Survivor, available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. We are working on Sammy Greene Book 4. Meanwhile, I have two other books I’m developing, including a spy novel set in 1950s Germany. Of course, I invite readers to straddle genres as well and enjoy the Zygan Emprise trilogy, which blends sci-fi/fantasy with mystery/thriller threads. Finally, we encourage readers to read our high quality “fan fiction” novel Elementary, My Dear Spock, available for free at www.extremelysmart.com/magrathea.
KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?
Linda: Both. Each of our novels has an underlying theme, highlighting deadly sins and corruption. Sammy is an amateur detective seeking to uncover the truth, despite the risks to herself.
KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?
Linda: When we are focused on a new book, Debbie and I plot together, and then write sequentially, sharing our product for editing by each other. But, we’re not rushing to publish; we ensure our muse is whispering the right song.
KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book while you are writing it?
Linda: Roughly. We outline the major plot points and beats. Then we write chapter by chapter and amend our outline if needed. It’s an evolving process.
KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?
Linda: Morning for me. Especially at sunrise on my laptop on my balcony on vacation overlooking the Aegean sea.
KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?
Linda: Deborah published several novels in the 80s, when good writing opened many doors. It was harder for us in the 2000s to break back in, but we are grateful to Oceanview for publishing us as one of their first groups of authors.
KRL: Most interesting book signing story, in a bookstore or other venue?
Linda: We always appreciated the wonderful readers who came out to meet us at our book signings. We are so glad we have been able to entertain you and make you think. What has been sad is that from 2009 to now, many of the bookstores that we were honored to host signings in across the US have closed. 🙁 We do more of our publicity online now.
KRL: Future writing goals?
Linda: Though I love sci-fi/fantasy, it’s a harder sell, especially since I prefer to explore optimistic futures rather than dystopias. I have been a staff writer for the TV series Family Medical Center in the past, and am still in the Writers Guild of America West; I would love to get back into television writing if opportunities arise. Otherwise—Sammy Greene Books 4 and 5, and my spy novels.
KRL: Writing heroes?
Linda: Only a partial list: Michael Crichton, Robin Cook, Harlan Coben, Dennis Palumbo, Pat Gussin, David Baldacci, Gayle Lynds, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
KRL: What kind of research do you do?
Linda: For Deep Waters, we researched the history of the transition from pagan worship to Christianity in ancient times and the Byzantine Empire, the achievements of Hypatia, how archaeologists work, and the Antikythera Mechanism among other items. We also reach out to consultants such as police officers and engineers to guide us in their fields.
KRL: What do you read?
Linda: Anything and everything. I recently finished Dennis Palumbo’s latest outstanding Daniel Rinaldi thriller, Head Wounds, and still keep the light on at night. 😉 (check out the Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast episode that features one of Dennis Palumbo’s short stories)
KRL: Favorite TV or movies?
Linda: Anything Star Trek, Forbidden Planet, Sherlock, Elementary, and the Brett Holmes series; The Good Place, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lethal Weapon, Human Target, Forever” (Gruffud), Harrow, Lewis, Endeavour, and Russian Doll. I love Grace and Frankie, Hieronymus Bosch, and more.
KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?
Linda: Write, write, write. And network, network, network. Those two skills don’t always blend naturally, but are critical in today’s saturated and fractured market. Finally, don’t get discouraged. And, as my Zygan Emprise nod to my old acquaintance Isaac Asimov, Lester Moore said, “a story told is not forgotten.”
KRL: Anything you would like to add?
Linda: Thank you for this opportunity to share our books with your readers.
KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Linda: I was a DJ in my college and medical school years. “Cindy Rush, the Doc Around the Rock”, and the first top 40 female DJ in the DC market.
KRL: Website? Twitter? Facebook?
To enter to win a copy of Deep Waters, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “waters,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 17, 2019. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address (so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode goes up next week.
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Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.