St. Martin's August 2003, 24.95, 336 pp.
ISBN 0312 266782
In Elliot Bay, twelve-year old Tim Diamond and his two friends and next door neighbors, Henry and Pearl are playing pirates on the family yacht, the Caprice. The next thing anyone knows is nine-year-old Pearl is missing and presumed drowned. Henry swears that he saw Tim tie her up, push her in, jump into the water and hold her head under until she was dead. On the basis of Henry's testimony, Tim is arrested and though he is out of jail, he is wearing an electronic bracelet.
Tim's brother Bart calls Venus in Hawaii and begs her to come home to figure out what is happening. Venus, an undercover agent with the United States Fish and Wildlife agency, uses her police powers to horn in on the local investigation. The further she digs, the more she learns that her brother's story about a giant jelly fish taking Pearl away is true and the players in the game are some of her old enemies in the Russian Mafia. Much blood will be shed and many lives will be lost when the authorities try to bring all the guilty parties to justice.
MEDUSA is a fascinating crime thriller with plenty of action, a touch of romance and some family humor to keep the tension levels at a certain level. The heroine risks her own life and freedom to make certain the guilty parties pay for what they did to her family. She is feisty and courageous protagonist and readers will adore. There are many sub-plots that tie back to the central theme of innocent children who trust the wrong people and pay the price.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner