Reviewed by Robyn-Lee Samuels
A domestic thriller of love, grief, and seduction
A grieving man is on the run for his life in Colin Kersey’s second novel Swimming with the Angels. With strong plot development and characterization, this novel comes with the thrills we expect, but also has us leaving with the wisdom only available from unimaginable situations.
You’re going to want to read this one.
Gray Reynolds’s life changes forever when his wife and her colleagues are brutally murdered by a drug cartel that she’s laundered money from.
Grieving, confused, and in danger, Gray is forced to go on the run so that the cartel won’t find him. He ventures out and finds a job on a remote farm in the North Cascades. The farm is owned by Virgil and his daughters Vonda and Valerie. When the blind younger daughter (Valerie) falls for the mysterious stranger, Gray finds himself caught between two sisters and the memory of his departed wife.
Swimming with the Angels has two main point of view characters, both written in first person: Gray and Valerie. The author thrives in his ability to capture extreme grief in Gray’s point of view. We are firmly planted in his head, recognizing him as true and real, and we never get heavy-handed or preachy about the topic.
Murder and grief make this novel sound like it could get pretty heavy, but these moments are often balanced with a nice dose of humor and levity from Gray. Aspects like these lighten up the room and make the reading experience palatable the whole way through.
The novel starts off at a fast pace with lots of action, but then it slows when Gray settles into his new identity and country life. There is plenty to be done on the farm, though, which gives us numerous opportunities for Gray’s humor and the sisters’ storyline. Author Colin Kersey immerses us into this new world and sets us up for plenty more mystery to come.
The thrills and thought-provoking themes shine in Swimming with the Angels, but it also does a great job with its cast of characters. The two POV characters are fully fleshed-out and three-dimensional humans on their own personal journeys. Gray is Indian; Valerie is disabled; Kersey does a great job of representing both on the page.
Swimming with the Angels is a story of life and death with thrills and humor. There is plenty of loss in it—some expected, others not so much. But ultimately the approach to all these events brings wisdom as Gray comes to appreciate his newfound world.
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Print Length: 304 pages
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