Tree Pose
by Susan Rogers and John Roosen

"The law does not always deliver justice."

This third book in the Yoga Mat Mysteries series begins on a light, meditative note, then spins away into the dark motifs of a mystery/ghost story/thriller mashup with a twist of romance. Ric Peters and Elaina Williams return in this tale, determined to relax and enjoy a holiday in Tasmania when ghosts from their personal pasts and the island’s collective past upend their plans for serenity. Elaina becomes a target of revenge for Ric’s past blunder in Indonesia that results in tragic loss of life, haunting Ric and threatening to destroy the couple’s budding relationship.

The authors have created a tightly woven web of plot and subplot that keeps the narrative morphing swiftly into a multileveled predicament in which human trafficking becomes prominent and with stakes too high for everyone involved—criminal and law enforcers alike. While the tale leans toward a more plot-driven than character-driven ambiance, as is common in the thriller genre, Rogers and Roosen’s skill with place, setting, and historical and cultural provenance plays a strong role, sometimes almost eclipsing the protagonists and antagonists in prominence and interest.

While the criminal masterminds of the story are fairly cliché, the protagonists and supporting cast are a well-rounded lot with interests such as yoga and fly-fishing that mesh well with the settings “Down Under.” Overall, this novel can be read as a colorful, event-packed standalone that will keep thriller enthusiasts on a tense, emotional rollercoaster. Fans of the series will be happy to know that a fourth volume is already a work in progress.

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