By Christine Kling
(Ballantine Books, Mass Market Paperback, 9780345448309, 352pp.)
Publication Date: September 27, 2005
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Christine Kling’s first novel, Surface Tension, introduced a remarkable sleuth in Seychelle Sullivan. Now, in Kling’s electrifying new book, Sullivan returns–a tall, strong, beautiful woman in a man’s world, caught up in a complex drama set on the South Florida seacoast, where the crimes, hopes, and follies of dreamers and con artists all come washing ashore.
Seychelle is proud to follow in her father’s footsteps and work the waters on a tugboat. She remembers Florida before it fractured between rich and poor, white and black, Cuban and Haitian. For Seychelle, life is all about making a living, making love, and keeping her eye on the beauty that still remains in an ever-changing community. Then her life takes a turn when her tug intercepts with a swamped fishing boat in the Gulf Stream. Inside the boat are a murdered woman and a little girl in a white dress.
When Seychelle returns to shore with a traumatized Haitian girl named Solange in her cabin, she is faced with the border patrol, the police, and an unraveling love affair. Determined to protect Solange, and somehow keep her from being sent back to Haiti, Seychelle becomes obsessed with the forces that nearly killed the girl–and left her speechless with terror. All Seychelle knows for sure is that Solange’s father was an American . . . and that somehow she slipped through a murderer’s hands.
Exploring the hidden world of Florida’s Haitian community, Seychelle realizes that Solange is still in great danger–and that one killer has claimed dozens of lives. With a murderer stalking the child, Seychelle is racing to unravel dangerous truths. But to get the answers she needs, she must return to where it all started: in the waters of the Gulf Stream, where people died for a hope and prayer– and a man with a machete did the work of the devil himself.
Taut, suspenseful, and filled with remarkable descriptions of Florida’s many moods and guises–from million-dollar waterfront homes to haunted, backwater mangrove swamps and secret Voodoo rituals–Cross Current is alive with personalities and passion and the work of an author boldly staking out territory all her own.
Christine Kling is the author of Surface Tension. She spent more than twenty years on and around boats and has cruised the waters of the North and South Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. She received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Florida International University in Miami. She lives in South Florida with her teenaged son.