I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Hell and High Water by Keenan Powell
Series: Maeve Malloy Mystery #3
Published by Level Best Books on March 31, 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Crime, Mystery, Suspense
Source: TLC Book Tours
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Alaskan attorney Maeve Malloy isn’t sure she’s cut out to be a lawyer anymore. She takes a kitchen job at a remote lodge, hiding her past from her new friends. Just as a storm rolls in, a tourist is murdered. With no escape or rescue in sight, the police ask Maeve to investigate. Her cover is blown and her new friends aren’t so friendly anymore. To find the killer, she must expose their deepest secrets, sort lies from truth, love from hate, and the innocent from the guilty.
Continuing to build after a strong start, Powell turns her beady eye and compassionate heart towards the corrosive nature of old secrets and the dangers of reckoning with the truth at last. Maeve Molloy's third outing is atmospheric, gritty and completely satisfying. - CATRIONA McPHERSON, multi-award-winning author of STRANGERS AT THE GATE
HELL OR HIGH WATER is part closed room mystery, part wilderness adventure, and part hard-boiled reluctant hero. World-weary Maeve Malloy must uncover a killer from a handful of suspects and avoid becoming a rampaging bear's next meal. Keenan Powell is at the top of her game! - Matt Coyle, author of the Anthony Award winning Rick Cahill series
Nuanced characters and an edgy atmosphere in Hell and High Water will keep you up way past your bedtime. - J.D. Allen Author of the Sin City Investigation Series
It’s been a while since I’ve read a straight-up mystery with a quirky cast of suspects, and Keenan Powell’s Hell and High Water fit the bill for me. This third installment in the Maeve Malloy Mystery series was a slow building, tension-filled book where a serious storm has trapped everyone on an island in Alaska. Maeve Malloy is a defense attorney who had been suspended and couldn’t practice law for three months. She’s having serious doubts about her career choice, so she decides to spend the summer as kitchen help at a lodge on remote Alaskan island, hoping to figure out her future. On the first night there, a woman is murdered and a bear tries to carry her body away. But with the inclement weather system over the area, the authorities aren’t able to come to the scene, so Maeve is tasked with questioning the lodge’s guests and getting their statements. But will putting the pieces together put Maeve in the crosshairs of a murderer?
I highly enjoyed the Alaskan setting, especially the dark and stormy weather keeping everyone in place. The cast of characters isn’t too large, so it isn’t hard to keep track of who is who, especially once Maeve starts unraveling everyone’s connections to each other. And the cast is quite diverse: the owners of the lodge are a hippie chef and a pothead construction worker, the receptionist is a biker chick, and staying at the lodge are two nuns, a husband/wife engineer team, and an ex-priest turned botanist.
Maeve is a complex, less-than-perfect woman, and seeing how she struggles with everyday tasks is humbling. As a recovering alcoholic, she has a hard time being stuck in this lodge where everyone seems to be dealing with this murder by drowning their sorrows in booze. But for all that she is struggling, she comes alive and focused when she’s investigating the murder. This type of thing is what she is happiest doing.
Hell and High Water is told in third person point of view, and it does head hop a decent amount. It took a little bit of time to get used to the switches, but I found myself enjoying the peeks at what was happening as Maeve’s investigator Tom was fighting his way through the storm toward Maeve. I also liked getting glimpses into what was happening to the other characters when Maeve wasn’t around.
I give Hell and High Water a four out of five. I highly enjoyed the Alaskan setting, especially the dark and stormy weather keeping everyone in place. The cast of characters isn’t too large, so it isn’t hard to keep track of who is who, especially once Maeve starts unraveling everyone’s connections to each other. I was able to figure out things in this third book, so it can be read as a standalone, but Maeve and her investigator Tom’s relationship and connection would make maximum sense if I’d read the previous two books. The book does deal with abuse in the Catholic Church and the effects of that for years to come.
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About Keenan Powell
Keenan Powell is the award-nominated author of the Maeve Malloy Mystery series. Her first publication were illustrations in Dungeons and Dragons, 1st edition, while in high school.
Art seemed to be an impractical pursuit – she wasn’t an heiress, didn’t have the disposition to marry well, and hated teaching – so she went to law school instead. The day after graduation, she moved to Alaska, where she continues to practice law.
In 2009, there was a string of homeless deaths which the Alaska Medical Examiner had ruled were the result of natural causes. While attending a legal seminar, she learned of a little-known law that permits the medical examiner to declare death by natural causes without performing an autopsy. These deaths and that loophole inspired her to write Deadly Solution.
She won the William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic grant which led to a three-book deal with Level Best Books. Deadly Solution was published in January of 2018 and was nominated for a Lefty, Agatha, and Silver Falchion.
When not writing or practicing law, Keenan can be found connecting with readers on social media, chatting with fellow mystery authors in the Bouchercon and Crime Bake community, oil painting, or studying the Irish language.
Connect with Keenan Powell
Keenan Powell’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for HELL AND HIGH WATER:
Tuesday, October 27th: Instagram: @jessicamap
Wednesday, October 28th: Instagram: @my_read_feed
Thursday, October 29th: Instagram: @meganthemeganerd
Friday, October 30th: Instagram: @readingnookreviews
Saturday, October 31st: Instagram: @jess_reads_books
Monday, November 2nd: Instagram: @megsbookclub
Wednesday, November 4th: Instagram: @bookswithbean
Tuesday, October 27th: A Bookish Way of Life
Thursday, October 29th: Girl Who Reads
Friday, October 30th: Laura’s Reviews
Monday, November 2nd: Helen’s Book Blog
Tuesday, November 3rd: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, November 4th: Literary Quicksand
Thursday, November 5th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Friday, November 6th: She Just Loves Books
Monday, November 9th: Books and Bindings
Wednesday, November 11th: Stranded in Chaos
Thursday, November 12th: Instagram: @hooked.by.books
Friday, November 13th: 5 Minutes For Books
TBD: Wednesday, October 28th: Write – Read – Life