Beneath the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the biggest predator on the planet hunts, craving the flesh and blood of every creature it can sink its teeth into. Detective Jill McCourty receives a phone call from her old college professor when a mangled body washes up on the shores of Sharkwater Beach. Together they must discover what stalks the waters around the private island and stop it before it reaches the mainland. But how do you stop something so enormous, something so unique that it may have existed in another time?
Jill vows to make sure what happens at Sharkwater Beach, stays at Sharkwater Beach.
The workers at a sub Aquatic research facility 200 miles from Florida are being wiped out when their shark test subject escapes into the flooded facility and starts eating everyone it can. One of the bodies washes up on a beach and it is taken by college professor Neil to study. He calls in former student and girlfriend Jill, a detective and shows her the bug filled body and a tooth wedged in it that is bigger than a megalodon. Jill is persuaded to join his team at Sharkwater Beach to investigate the shark, while the survivors of other shark attacks and helicopter crashes end up on the same island. If they thought the shark was bad, they have no idea what is coming next.
I loved the cover for this book and hoovered up an ebook copy as I can never resist any creature feature with a shark. I did come out of it a little disappointed though. Firstly it is not a shark story really as later in the book the shark is replaced by alien monster things which I wasn't expecting but didn't greatly object to. I just want to warn other readers so they know what to expect.
Lets start with the good. I did like the idea of this genetically altered shark being used for strange purposes at the sea lab and breaking out after eating a fair number of people. I enjoyed the scenes of it attacking people and heading towards this beach. Having the shark POV didn't greatly bother me to be honest but I know it bugged other people so I thought I better mention it. It does clue you in that things are not going to be quite what you expected when you started reading the book. There were a few characters that I did like which I'll mention later. There was also a good deal of tension and horror in the second half of the book which I quite enjoyed. There were scenes which were nicely satisfying throughout but the real issue for me was the female MC and Professor Pervy.
The characters. Neil is a slimy git who likes to seduce his female students and seems to think of himself as a ladies man when he is in fact a creep. He is married but it doesn't stop him having a student girlfriend as well as trying to get back with Jill. I thought he was a cretin and hoped he would get eaten. Jill was even worse. She willingly slept with the guy when she was his student but now she has a massive chip on her shoulder about it as she quit her course because of it and became a cop instead. She has to keep sniping at Neil about the past despite claiming she has moved on which she obviously hasn't, as she freaks out when she finds out he has got married 'behind her back'. She is also rude and obnoxious to all his students who try to be nice to her as she is jealous that he is sleeping with one of them-of course Jill picks out the wrong one and is so nasty to the poor girl. The continued angst and whining from Jill drove me totally barmy and spoiled the book completely.
There were also good characters and I wish the book had centered more around the actual students rather than Neil and his love quad. I liked CJ who survived the boat attack that killed his friend, and he ends up washed ashore with a couple of survivors from an elite unit. Brinks and Gard are in a helicopter when it explodes as they go to investigate what happened at the facility, losing a friend in the process. Brinks suspects that they were all meant to die in the explosion and is determined to get to the people that sent them there. The conspiracy stuff I could take or leave personally but I did like these characters much better. They team up and go to the local bar/hotel to try and get help, as Jill's group does when things go badly wrong for them. Then the blood really starts to flow.
I have to admit that overall this was a decent plot and I did read it to the end to see what happens which would make it worth 3 stars but it was totally spoiled for me by the Neil and Jill show which had me doing the eyerolling and tutting throughout so I have to drop the rating for that. I also didn't like what happened to one of the characters near the end but I can hardly blame the author for that so it doesn't affect my rating.
Read July 2018.