by Bruce TierneySeptember, 2003
Swimming with dolphins
At the opening of Iris Johansen's latest adventure-mystery, Fatal Tide, marine researcher Melis Nemid is spending the bulk of her time in the company of dolphins, a pair of frolicsome juveniles named Pete and Susie. They are her only companions on the solitary Caribbean island Melis calls home. It is a life that suits her, as her experiences with human acquaintances have often been less than exemplary: as a child she was sold into modern-day slavery, spending her formative years in an Istanbul brothel. After a long regimen of therapy, Melis has come to terms with her past, but even so, she prefers the company of the less threatening aquatic mammals. When her adoptive father is killed in a boating explosion, Melis enlists the aid of Jed Kelby, a mysterious ex-Navy Seal engaged in the business of seeking the remains of sunken shipwrecks. Their search for clues will take them (and the dolphins) to the exotic Canary Islands, perhaps the last remnants of the fabled lost city of Marinth. Part romance novel, part Indiana Jones, with a little Dr. Doolittle thrown in for good measure, Fatal Tide is a page turner par excellence. At times it borders on the unbelievable, but that will be no impediment to Johansen's legion of eager readers.