cover image Restless Waters

Restless Waters

Jessica Speart. Severn House Publishers, $28.95 (293pp) ISBN 978-0-7278-6274-7

In Speart's lighthearted ninth Rachel Porter mystery (after 2004's Blue Twilight), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife agent, now stationed in Hawaii, stumbles across an international illegal exotic reptile smuggling ring and a conspiracy to skirt regulations banning the sale of shark fins. Porter's initial investigative steps put her at odds with her horrible boss, who personifies every stereotype of a bureaucrat more interested in preserving his position than in doing his job. An informant refers darkly to a high-level political connection to the conspirators, and Porter's legwork brings her face to face with a mobster from her past. While Porter's rash choices in life-and-death situations lack credibility, Speart does manage a nicely cynical ending.