Jade de Jong, a private investigator from Jo’burg, South Africa had booked a scuba get away in St.Lucia with hopes that her boyfriend, police superintendent David Patel would soon join her. The whole idea of it was a bit of a stretch for Jade given that she was terrified of deep water, but David loved to dive and so Jade had decided to come early, take the scuba course offered at the resort and be ready to dive with him when he arrived. Which should have happened already, but David had been delayed by a last minute case and since Jade was going into panic attacks when she dove and had not yet passed the course, was probably a good thing. But things got worse. When David did arrive, he came wanting to have “the talk” that never bodes well for a relationship, and before Jade can adjust to that, her scuba instructor, Amanda is found stabbed to death.
David offers to assist the local authorities in their investigation and although things are not good between the two of them, Jade joins forces to investigate as well since she feels a personal connection to Amanda. The thing is, initially there is very little to investigate. Amanda seems to be the best liked, intelligent but quiet person who ever existed, so who would want her dead? But quiet people often run deep and Amanda was no exception. There was the fact that she was but a few months removed from her job as an air traffic controller and the post card found in her room with the mysterious message. Was Amanda not who she seemed to be?
Mackenzie’s books although a series, read very nicely as stand alones. Each book gives readers a slightly different look into South African society from the varying racial and cultural differences to the motives for the crime that plagues the cities to the overwhelming environmental issues throughout the country. But these are not just plot driven. Jade de Jong is as a fascinating protagonist as you will find. The combination of the well paced plot and the strong characters make Mackenzie’s books top notched.