Kling, Christine

Seychelle Sullivan Series
Surface Tension Surface Tension (2002)
From Publishers Weekly
In this strong suspense debut, Seychelle Sullivan owns a salvage tug near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and makes a precarious living piloting luxury yachts and sportfishing boats in the Florida waters. When her radio picks up a distress call from the Top Ten, she hurries to the scene, hoping to net a windfall. The luxurious yacht is skippered by her former lover, Neal, who seems to have abandoned ship and left a dead body behind. Who is the dead girl, where is Neal, why do the police suspect Seychelle, and how much can she hope to recover for salvaging the yacht? When she finds her modest cottage has been searched and her stash of emergency money is missing, she figures Neal must be alive, hiding from the police or from the girl's killer. The Top Ten's representative offers a paltry sum to settle the salvage claim, so Seychelle decides to find out who the real owner is and go to arbitration. As the tension and suspense build, Seychelle's existence becomes increasingly precarious. Kling vividly portrays a characteristic dichotomy of the Sunshine State-native Floridians trying to earn an honest living in an atmosphere where anything and anyone can be tainted by loan sharks, drug money or worse. As a female tugboat captain, Seychelle is one of the genre's more unusual amateur sleuths, and Kling makes her one of its more endearing ones as well.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Cross Current Cross Current (2004)
From Booklist
As in her debut (Surface Tension, 2002), Ft. Lauderdale tugboat skipper Seychelles Sullivan happens upon a dead woman adrift on the Gulf Stream, but this time there's salvage aboard: a girl named Solange, half-dead from exposure, who stirs our heroine's maternal instincts and sets her on a mission to find the girl's American father before she can be deported back to Haiti and a life of servitude. As the only witness to the latest in a string of brutal refugee murders that may have occult significance, Solange is also of great interest to powerful men on both sides of the law. Seychelles draws upon a large, supportive cast, including a few ogle-worthy guys, and deepens ties to a love interest and to her deceased father, whose honor is called into question when some old drug-running pals resurface. To these convoluted matters of the heart, Kling adds swift plotting, convincing nautical detail, voodoo lore, and tropical scenery, all of which adds up to a satisfying if unsurprising series that is Florida's answer to Grafton and Barr. David Wright
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Bitter End Bitter End (2005)
In her acclaimed novels of suspense, Christine Kling gives readers good reason to believe that if Travis McGee and Kinsey Millhone had ever hooked up, their child would have grown up to be Seychelle Sullivan: a beautiful, savvy heroine with a knack for steering her salvage tugboat into South Florida’s most troubled waters. In Seychelle’s new caper, she may just be in over her head when murder and corruption come bobbing to the surface.

Since kindergarten, Seychelle and her best friend, Molly, had been as close as sisters. Molly even dated Seychelle’s brother. But it all ended suddenly when Nick Pontus, a slick, older, up-and-coming entrepreneur, came along. A smitten Molly quit school, married her new beau, and never spoke to Seychelle again. After thirteen years, it still stings.

Seychelle didn’t see the sniper who picked Nick off at the helm of his yacht, but she knows that there are plenty of people in South Florida who wanted to see the gambling-boat tycoon dead: the Russian mobsters looking for a piece of his casino action, the Indian gamers who resent his competition, and the ecological activists fighting his plans to develop Fort Lauderdale’s waterfront. But it’s Molly whom the cops zero in on. And despite her bitter feelings and against her better judgment, when her back-from-the-blue friend asks for help, Seychelle can’t just weigh anchor and cruise. She’s got to dive in.

What she finds is a money-skimming scam aboard Nick’s flagship gambling boat, Nick’s new trophy wife turned merry rich widow, and Nick and Molly’s teenage son, a scared kid with a big secret . . . and a killer on his
trail. Protecting the boy, proving Molly’s innocence, and navigating between squalls of gunfire add up to a tall order as salvage jobs go. But like any good captain, Seychelle will never abandon ship. Even if it means risking her life.
Wreckers' Key Wreckers' Key (2007)
From Publishers Weekly
At the start of Kling's salty if at times meandering fourth Florida suspense thriller (after Bitter End), tugboat captain Seychelle Sullivan, who inherited her dad's business three years earlier, is still resisting advanced GPS technology. Her more successful competitors, like upstart Neville Pinder, have no compunction about using it, while such unsavory developments as an increase in insurance fraud (an unhappy client is suing her) have her questioning her future. When her friend Nestor Frias runs a millionaire's yacht aground in Key West, Nestor insists the GPS navigation system was somehow compromised. While Seychelle is towing the yacht to Fort Lauderdale, Nestor's killed in a windsurfing accident that his pregnant widow insists was murder. An unexpected reunion with an old childhood friend, Ben Baker, once a nerd, now a hottie, provides some romantic tension. A shocking resolution to this solid tale of nautical adventure will catch most readers by surprise. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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