In Cave Danger
by Kate Dyer-Seeley
I found In Cave Danger interesting, but I didn’t love it. A lot of the reason is just personal taste. To start, the main character, Meg Reed, is just too froufrou, too much of a girly pink lover to be believable in her job as an adventure writer. I admire her independent fashion sense and love of vintage clothing, but even a “twenty-something” should understand that for most jobs there is a specific type of dress appropriate for the position and task. On your own time, you dress to please yourself.
My next problem with the book structure is the emphasis on beer. The craft beer culture in Oregon is interesting, but I honestly don’t admire a main character whose social life on a daily basis centers around beer.
Another problem is the choices and actions of the main character. Meg persists in doing obviously dangerous things. Things others have warned her not to do. Things she states are not smart to do. She also volunteers to cover a story on caving when she is a self-professed claustrophobic.
Lastly, I am sure there are people who give thanks to the Universe for the good things that happen, literally hug trees, and carry stones around to protect themselves. Those people would probably enjoy In Cave Danger much more than I did.
The initial mystery focuses on the murder of a forest ranger and the battle of environmentalists versus a politician and a rancher who have other plans for land use. Later the author makes a rather sudden jump back to events in a previous book that involve Meg’s deceased father, a newspaper reporter who was obsessed with researching a piece on meth. This abrupt plot switch is smoothed out as the author fills in the back story. Amazingly the two plot lines intersect.
On the positive side, the plot is engaging and the setting is interesting. The author offers closure to what appears to have been an old mystery. The book concludes with sections on tips for exploring caves and information for a scenic tour of Oregon’s high desert country where In Cave Danger takes place.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Kensington Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #5 in the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series; works as a standalone
Publication: November 28, 2017—Kensington Books
The tips of old oak leaves faded into golden yellows, and red twinges glinted in the sunlight. Soon organic farm stands would pop up on street corners, where artisans would sell homemade apple and pear butter and carved festive gourds. The breweries would release their fall lines featuring pumpkin ales and hoppy Oktoberfest brews.
My past blunders were all my own doing, usually because I had overestimated my skill level or downplayed the danger. This felt different. This felt out of my control. I couldn’t shake the ominous cloud hovering over me.
I’m so claustrophobic that I refuse to ride in elevators. I’d rather huff and puff up twenty flights of stairs than be stuck in a moving coffin.
You were right about the use of beer. That went over my head. What I focus on was territory and the pOlish I have read all the other books so I was already friends of the characters. I recognized the Muelher occupation and land is is a major issue here.
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When I posted my review I looked at other reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Most people liked the book, but there were a few that didn’t care for it. Perhaps if I had gotten to know Meg in previous books I would have been more sympathetic to her as a character. Maybe she is just too much of a different generation. We lived for a few months in Mountlake Terrace, WA in the early 80’s. I really liked it there.