Book review by Aarene Storms: Out of the Cold Dark Sea

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Jeffrey Briggs will have a reading and Author Event at Third Place Books Lake Forest Park on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 7pm.

Aarene doesn't usually review murder mysteries - but this one was special.

Out of the Cold Dark Sea by Jeffrey D. Briggs

Martha Whitaker waits alone, in the rain, for an old friend who never shows up. Police find his van, his cane, and a lot of unanswered questions. 
It's up to Martha-- who carries a lot of baggage as well as an unhealthy amount of curiosity into the opening pages of the book-- to figure out which clues are real and which are red herrings.

I love a good, complicated murder mystery, especially one with a familiar setting, and this one checks all those boxes.

More than that: it's a substantial story, with plenty of plot twists and slow reveals, and the author displays plenty of first-hand knowledge of life in the Pacific Northwest.

Don't let the umbrella* on page 1 fool you: it's there for a reason.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I usually hate reviewing first novels written by people I know. What if it sucks? This didn't suck. The book wasn't perfect, but it kept me glued to the edge of my chair (ouch!) and I recommend it. Violence, bloodshed, and non-graphic sex on the page. Some cussing. And a TON of misleading "clues" that kept me reading to the final page. Jeffrey Briggs is a local library patron and a friend-- and now, an author. Woot!

*Pacific northwestern natives famously eschew umbrellas. The duck-handled umbrella is not a goof.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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