Underwater intrigue, offshore drilling and onshore romance enliven a scientist’s days and nights.
When Russian student Viktor Kozlov rescues geologist Cleo Cooper from a scuba dive gone wrong, she lets him spend the night with her. Although he’s 12 years younger than her, he’s also attractive, eager and knowledgeable about her subject of expertise. Dismissing him as a one-night stand, Cleo escapes with relief to her consulting job aboard the Magellan, an exploration drill ship searching for natural gas for a company in which Cleo and her ex-husband, Bud, are both investors. She’s just retrieved a strange circular object from a remotely operated vehicle when a man attacks her. She awakens with no knowledge of how she got away from him or what happened to her attacker, whose body soon washes up on shore. The longer Cleo remains aboard the Magellan, the more questions she has about Bud’s role in her attacker’s death and about Viktor, who’s helping her find an undersea clue to missing treasure. Cleo ultimately learns where her trust should lie in a mystery long on technical detail and short on realism.
Although geologist Mims (Hiding Gladys, 2013) writes with professional authority, she could have established her heroine as a specialist in a man’s world without burdening readers with so many scientific details—or undercutting Cleo’s self-sufficiency by obliging her to be rescued again and again.