Mysterious, Feb 2004, 23.95
Georgia Parrish returns home to Nulgarra in Far Northern Queensland, Australia to attend a funeral. Knowing that the townsfolk detest her and struggling with keeping calm against the constant verbal assault of her temporary bunkmate, Georgia decides now that the funeral is over to leave where she is not welcome. She heads to the small airport hoping to gain a seat on a flight out though she knows that is doubtful. She picks up two stranded people also heading to the airport. Luck is with her as someone fails to show up for the flight.
Luck deserts Georgia as the plane crashes killing two people. Georgia learns that the plane was sabotaged and the no show was found dead on a nearby beach. Not trusting local law enforcement to seek the truth, Georgia investigates only to find Chinese thugs believe she was partners with the dead passengers, who include a research scientist on the brink of an antibody breakthrough potentially rivaling that of penicillin. Her deadly foes abduct Georgia's mother because they demand to know what she knows or else.
DEAD HEAT lives up to its title as fans will feel the torrid tropical climate of Northern Queensland especially when the corpse count rises and the crocodiles dominate the local quagmire population. The picturesque background is so compelling at times the view overwhelms a strong thriller starring a terrific protagonist. Though the villains seem more out of a 1930s Fu Manchu tale, readers will appreciate this powerful sweltering tale of murder and survival in the remote Australian swamps.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner