Lake Friction
by Ron McCarthy

"He has a lump on the back of his head and a few bruises, nothing too serious. He had a good look at the knife man and will not forget that face."

One doesn't normally think of climate activists as good old boys who like to sit around, recount their youth, and down multiple beers together. That, however, is the case in this crime adventure set in an Australian community dependent upon its local lake for all manner of tourism, sport, and employment. The problem is not with their commitment but rather how they plan to act upon it.

Into their midst comes an outsider, Len. He's been asked to fill in temporarily as the football coach. As an ex-World Cup player, he certainly has the background and knowledge to do so. He's also particularly adept at hand-to-hand combat and other self-defense skills that will come in handy as he butts heads with belligerent locals, mixes with parents as well as players, and gets neck-deep in high water, attempted murder, and the killing of a young girl. Before long, Len is having to come to grips with whether he's simply going to fulfill his current obligation and move along or whether he's destined for a much longer stint in this lakeside community.

In addition to weaving an involving narrative, the author shows himself exceptionally well-schooled in environmental issues and engineering techniques. His detailed descriptions of artificial and natural water influences, plus the intricacies of explosive operations, make his chronicle as credible as it is engaging. There is also the requisite amount of tension-building suspense, testosterone-filled derring-do, and climactic canoodling between the sheets to keep things not just specific but spicy too. For those who want to go to the lake without leaving home, this novel just might do the trick.

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