Look the Other Way – a review

Thursday_horizons

Kristina Stanley is among my favourite mystery authors and when her Stone Mountain series closed with Avalanche, I wondered where we would be swept to next. (Well, if I was truthful, I had an inkling as Kristina is one of my gurus.)

So, in the next mystery, we are transported in Look the Other Way from the mountains, we are now afloat.

LookTheOtherWay_35613947

Look the Other Way

by

Kristina Stanley (Goodreads Author)

SUBMERGED BENEATH THE DEPTHS IS A SEA OF SECRETS…

A year after her Uncle Bobby mysteriously disappears in the turquoise waters surrounding the Bahamas, Shannon Payne joins her grieving aunt to trace Bobby’s last voyage. Shannon hopes the serenity of the sea might help her recover from a devastating breakup with her fiancé.

Sailing the 38-foot catamaran, A Dog’s Cat, is Captain Jake Hunter, a disillusioned cop who has sworn off women. While Shannon tries to resist her growing attraction to the rugged captain, she uncovers dark truths about her uncle’s death that might send them all to the depths.

Review 4.6 stars

I’m always ready to pick up another Kristina Stanley mystery and I wasn’t disappointed with this one.

She takes her diverse life encounters and creates great stories from them – this time tapping into her sailing experience. As a result, the characters, settings and situations ring true, and I was with Shannon Payne in the Bahamas, sailing A Dog’s Cat, attempting to resolve what happened to her Uncle Bobby, and I had to wonder when something might happen with rugged Captain Jake Hunter. Is he what he says he is?

The novel was well-structured, balancing mystery and romance while weaving the plotlines together. As a mystery writer, I attempt to unravel the threads and there were more than enough to keep me reading – even after I worked out who the antagonist was, sometime before the end.

From that point onwards, the suspense element went up some notches as my concern for Shannon’s situation grew. My mind was trying to keep ahead of her…and the villain. Getting that revelation moment right needs skill as not all readers ‘click’ in the same place – keeping them on board takes craft, and Stanley has that in boatloads.

Also, there were some clever red herrings that kept my ‘little grey cells’ buzzing for page after page. All the characters had backstories and depth, with various reasons to suspect them of committing some crime. Their actions were sometimes deceptive and there were plenty of misunderstandings as in all good mysteries.

The Bahamas setting was both enticingly exotic and hidden with subtle threats. Many of the places must be real – or felt that they should be. The author’s knowledge of boats and sailing lent the writing an authentic vibe – and from my limited experience ‘mucking around in boats’, I felt swept along with events of a maritime nature. And the characters’ relevant skills varied appropriately from those that knew their charts to those needing a bottle or a life-jacket – or both.

Look the Other Way is another excellent Kristina Stanley novel that kept me thinking, so if you like a good mystery plus sailing and romance, I would recommend this book – 4.6 stars raised to Five.

I suspect that if this isn’t meant to be the start of a new series, then popular opinion might demand the return of Shannon Payne. However, until then we can anticipate a new Kristina Stanley mystery that is in the works. For now, I’ll just recommend each one she’s already written.

Story – four stars

Setting/World-building – four stars

Authenticity – five stars

Characters – five stars

Structure – four stars

Readability – five stars

Editing – five stars

C is for Cristóbal Colón

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage, and the theme reveal is here. I also wrote about this world in my blog post ‘This could be Kanata.

C

C is for Cristóbal Colón: On 12 October 1492, the three ships of Cristóbal Colón are met off the Bahamas by two well-armed vessels that echo Viking longships with dragon prows, but with caravel features like three masts and lateen sails. Although the Spanish are armed so are the ‘Vikings’, who also have swivel cannons on their ships. The Norse commander says that he is, “Njal Migisi, follower of Thor, here by the blessings of the people of these islands. The Lukku-Cairi are under the protection of the Kanata Konføderasjon.”

Cristóbal Colón orders his men to stand down and the Spaniards are granted anchorage and re-supplied from an established trading port, but then sent away. The Kanatians know that the Spanish will try to settle on the mainland, but will face a Mesoamerican alliance that is prepared for Europeans, their weapons, and diseases.

The Spanish do establish settlements but are forced to co-operate with the Mesoamericans, although with consequences for their neighbours.

 

Columbus Day 2012 watermark

This is how Courtney imagines things would have happened in 1492 if Simon and River were present. Copyright and more at http://bunnies-and-sunshine.blogspot/2012/happy-columbus-day.html

 

 

In our timeline:

“In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.

He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.”

Do I need to recite the rest of the poem, or remind people of all the controversy surrounding Columbus’ arrival in the New World and how the continent was settled by Europeans and other nations? History  is a good starting link for the Columbus story, and then there is the view from the other perspective that some might call revisionist. Although, this is a 1992 article, the movement keeps growing, especially on Columbus Day. Personally, as a historian and of Chilean origin, I lean heavily towards the indigenous rights viewpoint, as will become clear as Kanata evolves.

But if Leif Eriksson and the Vikings had stayed in Newfoundland and spread inland, would the First Nations have fared any better, although Eriksson had converted to Christianity? I have chosen a Saami shamaness as my catalyst for change, but what would have been needed to avoid the terrible mistakes made by the later Europeans?

 

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