Brock Harker, World War II fighter pilot returns home to the Pacific Northwest on leave. He’s searching for a little peace once he finds his half Japanese wife who vanished while he was away. What he finds is Murder Beside The Salish Sea by author Jennifer Mueller, who artfully pulls Brock into an intriguing plot that hides the darkest of secrets.
Working as a pilot for the Flying Tigers in China, Brock earned the distinguished Order of the Cloud and Banner from the Chinese. After Pearl Harbor, he joins the Air Corps as a bomber pilot. Brock would say that flying was the one good thing his dad taught him, and he’d learned it so well he swore he could dogfight when he was ten years old. He should have been dead many times during these World War II years, but what has him frightened most is Amy’s disappearance. Half Japanese/American women have to watch themselves now. His heart broke when her letters stopped, and the letters he sent went unanswered. Now he’s determined to find her or find out what happened to her.
The search begins at his father’s home, the only family he has left. They parted years ago on the worst of terms, in large part because of his racist father’s hatred for Brock’s beloved Amy. Now, will his father greet Brock after all these years, or throw him away again? Brock reacquaints himself with his hometown of Bellingham, friends and other people he had known before, and meets military personnel on the nearby base. Several of these people become suspects in the ensuing murders. Brock is also accused by the police in his father’s murder. Brock applies wartime tactics and a little help from his friends to track and capture the murderer. Only then are devastating secrets revealed that may be unbearable for this war hero.
This thrilling, historical mystery that’s steeped in sweet romance tugs at a sense of adventure. The story travels across plot twists like an army jeep driving the diverse, Pacific Northwest landscape, from the Cascade Mountains to sandy beaches, and along the Straits to the Ocean. Hang on because just when the reader thinks the plot ahead is recognizable, there’s another curve and the view completely changes.
With Murder Beside The Salish Sea, Jennifer Mueller brings to life an important time in history, while weaving in poignant, personal drama. As Brock’s beloved wife Amy once said to him, “We endure what we cannot change.”
- How was the writing? Dynamic action, lyrically descriptive, with realistic dialogue
- Is there any sex? Romantic tension, and brief allusions to marital sex
- Is there any violence? Few details on the murder victims, one shooting scene on boats
- How is the book narrated? Third Person
- Which tense is the book? Present tense
- What’s the mood? Filled with Adventure and Optimism, despite obstacles