Baby Shark's Beaumont Blues
Reviewed by Barb Radmore
Oh Baby, Baby. She is back, all rough, tough and soft around the edges.
Kristin Van Dijk, who we met in Baby Shark, has returned to her crime
fighting, but now she is Otis' partner in his PI business.
Kristin and Otis are hired to locate and rescue a kidnapped girl, who
ends up more difficult to find and keep than they expected. What seemed
like a simple rescue mission becomes convoluted case of
deception, greed and dishonor.
In this installment of Kristen's adventures it is the characters that
take center stage. Baby Shark introduced us to the main characters but
that book was driven by the action, the violence. Beaumont Blues
has taken the promise of the first one and given the characters a
chance to grow. It is no less exciting, no less blood stained than the
first one, but it also shows a maturity in development. It would
have be easy for Robert Fate to rest on the momentum of Baby Shark, to
recreate the "little lost girl fights back" theme but he was able to
step back and let her mature. Otis has a bigger role this time as the
friendly boss and father figure, and he fills it well. The assorted
other characters that blast their way through the action are well drawn
with Fate's usual tongue in cheek spin on motive and morality.
But, of course, it is also the action driven plot that makes this a one
sitting book. As the action progresses faster than a bullet, or is that
as fast as the numerous bullets, it maintains the velocity of non stop
suspense and thrills. It still can have scenes such as "It looked as if
we were in the middle of a Popeye comic strip with all the bodies
strewn about. But it was no cartoon, it was a slaughterhouse. Blood
everywhere." Kristin has matured, not mellowed. The ending is
satisfyingly unexpected, with the humor that makes these books so
creative and welcomed.
Next up is Baby Shark's Panhandle Caravan (name change Mr. Fate? What
happened to Sooner Weekends?). It will be interesting to see what
Robert Fate has planned next for Kristin and Otis.