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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Dismal Key is an action and adventure tale set in Southwestern Florida written by Mitch Doxsee. McKlusky is a sixteen-year-old who grew up on Marco Island until his mother remarried and relocated the family to New Jersey. Every summer, McKlusky returns to Florida and crews for his grandfather, Captain Harvey, a fishing charter captain who knows everything there is to know about the swamps and islands in the wilderness of the Florida Everglades. This summer, McKlusky finds that his life-long pal, Chloe, has grown up in the last year and they begin a tentative romance. Meanwhile, Captain Harvey is hired by Becker, an ex-CIA agent, to guide him in his search for missing young women, who Becker believes have been kidnapped by slavers. Harvey and McKlusky find themselves actively involved in Becker's attempt to save those young women.
Mitch Doxsee's suspenseful thriller, Dismal Key, is an enjoyable and fast-paced story that makes the reader feel that they are out there in the mangrove swamps. It's that realistic. The women who have been kidnapped are strong and capable, and the villains each have their own stories. There are also social undertones to the tale, owing to the impact of the Northern incursion on the native Floridians and their way of life. Best of all is watching the two main characters, McKlusky, who's a lot more than just a surfer boy, and Becker, the ex-CIA agent, as they avenge the death of his sister and try to stop those responsible for the trafficking of women. Dismal Key is a bit of everything: coming-of-age tale, action story, adventure at sea, and thriller. It's also quite entertaining and highly recommended.