Shark Fin Soup, by Susan Klaus. Oceanview Publishing. 344 pages. Hardcover $26.95.
Myakka City, Florida (in Manatee County near Bradenton) is where Susan Klaus lives on her forty acre farm and writes novels. That’s when she’s not busy as the manager and part owner of the Matrix, a Thoroughbred horse farm and cattle ranch that is currently raising rodeo bulls. Or when she’s not busy with her internet radio program, “The Authors Connection,” that reaches listeners in 148 countries.
In the fall of 2013, Ms. Klaus published her second novel – “Secretariat Reborn” – a thriller that focused on the Thoroughbred racing scene and introduced Christian Roberts. Christian is a startlingly handsome young outdoorsman who has become enormously wealthy. Recently married, Christian’s idyllic life is plunged into misery when his wife is killed on their 47-foot sloop while they are sailing around the Bahamas. The investigation of her death launches this new Christian Roberts novel in which Christian is immediately a person of interest. Something just doesn’t ring true in his explanation of Allie’s death aboard “Hank’s Dream.”
From Nassau, local policeman Sergeant Drake enlists the assistance of the Miami FBI, and soon Agent Dave Wheeler and his young partner Ralph are on the case. It becomes clear that men do not like blonde Adonis-types with tons of money. Jealous maybe?
Did Christian return from a bit of diving fun to find his boat plundered and his wife murdered, as he tells the investigators? Well, not really. There is a good reason those shark fin harvesters have not been found. While Christian may very well be a murderer, he is not the murderer of his wife. However, he does feel terribly guilty about putting her in harm’s way. The loss of his wife has plunged him into suicidal despair.
And where is that fishing trawler, anyway?
Soon teamed up with Vince Florio, his semi-retired underworld friend and confidant, Christian fully commits to saving the sharks that are headed for death once their fins are harvested for the favored Asian soup – shark fin soup. Through Christian’s concern, which was initially Allie’s, readers learn about the accelerating diminishment of the shark population through a lack of regulation and the greed of shark fishermen of all kinds, notably the shark fin strippers. Hiding behind the invention of an eco-terrorist persona, Captain Nemo, Christian takes great risks to keep a deathbed promise to Allie: a promise to do all he can to stop the ecological carnage by first saving the sharks.
He knows that the loss of the sharks is undermining the ecosystem that depends on shark appetites to control a natural balance that is now severely threatened. . . .
To read the entire review, as it appears in the September 20, 2014 Fort Myers Florida Weekly and the September 21 Naples, Bonita Springs, and Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte editions, click here: Florida Weekly – SharkFinSoup.