Review & Giveaway: Water’s Edge by Barry Silverstein

Title: Water’s Edge

Author: Barry Silverstein

Published: July 2011

Synopsis: First in a new environmental thriller series featuring Blackout the dog. Someone is polluting the French Broad River in Asheville, North Carolina with benzene. Retired environmental investigator David Samuels and his chemical-sniffing dog Blackout are asked by David’s former employer to find out who’s doing it and why. David and Blackout get caught up in a chain of events that’s more sinister than anyone can imagine. In fact, river pollution is just the beginning of this wild ride. Ultimately, Blackout plays a key role in uncovering the plot — and David finds out that “retirement” is more than he bargained for! Water’s Edge is an environmental thriller with plenty of twists and turns. This novel marks the beginning of a new series featuring two unlikely heroes, Blackout the dog and his baby boomer owner. Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from May 17 to 19, 2012 — I own a copy  {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

Water’s Edge is a well-plotted novel that explores a situation where power, greed and paranoia collide to cripple the United States. David Samuels, a retired EPA investigator, ably assisted by his black lab, Blackout, stumbles upon an astonishing conspiracy as he traces the origin of the Benzene dumped in to the river from a crooked nightwatchman, to a White Supremacist group to a corrupt state senator. Realising he is in over his head, David recruits an old friend, ex private investigator Mac to help out but just as they uncover the culprit, their investigation is shut down. David just can’t let it go though and soon the pollution of the waterways with the carcinogenic chemical proves to be the least of the nation’s worries when essential resources are threatened by a ruthless and powerful consortium of men whose overriding motive is profit.

From a seemingly simple case, Silverstein reaches for a high level, complex conspiracy and while it is an intriguing concept, and scarily all too plausible, I think is a little ambitious within the scope of this novel. Given Silverstein’s intention to develop this into a series I understand the need to establish a framework to build on but I think the story becomes a little too heavy and perhaps the latter stages of the conspiracy could have been held over for the next book. It’s a minor quibble though because the story does work as a whole and I found I myself drawn in as the web of suspects and victims grew.

Naturally, Water’s Edge has a strong message about the need for care and protection of the environment though somewhat surprisingly, Silverstein manages to avoid preaching too much. Largely the focus is on the relative ease of committing environmental terrorism. It’s quite terrifying how dramatically environmental sabotage could impact on the basic resources society requires like water, food and energy and Silverstein communicates this well.

Blackout, David’s canine partner, doesn’t have quite the role I had expected in events given the author’s emphasis in the premise. David though is a likeable protagonist, a baby boomer with the determination to pursue justice.

I was quite impressed by this well edited self published title, Water’s Edge is an intelligent mystery/thriller with plenty of interesting twists and turns and I look forward to the continued adventures of David Samuels and Blackout.

Available To Purchase

@Amazon I @Smashwords I @B & N

About the Author

Barry Silverstein spent over thirty years in marketing and advertising and is currently a professional freelance writer. While he primarily writes non-fiction articles, blogs and books, he has also taken an interest in writing fiction. His 2003 novel, “The Doomsday Virus,” is a thriller about a hacker who launches a cyber-attack on the United States. It was selected as a finalist for ForeWord magazine’s Book of the Year. His second novel, “Water’s Edge,” is an environmentally-themed thriller with a chemical sniffing dog named Blackout as the main character. Blackout and his baby boomer owner, David Samuels, uncover a plot that starts with a single case of pollution in the French Broad River in Asheville, North Carolina that turns out to be domestic terrorism — or so it seems. Barry, a committed dog lover, hopes to make “Water’s Edge” the first in a series of novels featuring Blackout the dog.
Author website I Blackout’s Blog I Twitter

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Entries close June 3rd, 2012

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