Downstream Into Danger

Fiction - Mystery - General
228 Pages
Reviewed on 09/10/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

In Downstream into Danger by Susan Davis Herring, Jenny faces more danger than she ever dreamed possible. Enjoying a camping trip in Tennessee, freelance writer Jenny is testing kayak paddles for an outdoor magazine. Enjoying life with the other campers, the last thing Jenny expects is for two of her campmates to be struck by lightning in a freak storm. As she paddles down the creek, she comes across a hidden cache of drugs. Befriending two fishermen and a park ranger, Jenny has no idea that her life is about to take a turn for the worse and that she will literally be fighting for her life. Heading out on a whitewater creek, Jenny is unlucky enough to run straight into the drug smugglers and now the fight is on. Can she get away from them in time? Will her experience on the river stand her in good stead or will she become another statistic?

Downstream into Danger by Susan Davis Herring is written by a woman with many years of canoeing and kayaking experience and it shows in the story. Fast-paced action in a wilderness setting, this story has a wonderfully strong female lead, a woman who will stand up for anything she believes in and will fight to the death if needs be. There are other characters that add to the story and all of them lend reality to the setting, with lots of kayaking and canoeing information added to make the story more realistic. The main protagonist is very well developed, and the writing is descriptive enough to take you right into the middle of the story, experiencing the outdoor world, the thrill of the white water creeks, and the heart-pounding terror that Jenny faces. A great action-packed story, I hope this will turn into a series rather than a standalone.

Susan Sewell

While on assignment in a Tennessee campground, a freelance writer inadvertently stumbles into a drug-smuggling operation in the exciting adventure novel Downstream Into Danger by Susan Davis Herring. Jenny uses her love of the wilderness to earn her income by testing and writing reviews on outdoor sporting equipment for travel and outdoor magazines. This week, Jenny is evaluating several take-apart paddles and is staying at a campground in Tennessee. While hiking in the area, Jenny trips and accidentally unearths a box filled with pill bottles. Unsure what to do, she quickly reburies the box and forgets about it. Later, when Jenny retrieves her car after kayaking, a man is waiting and threatens her. After someone rifles through her campsite, Jenny is angry and decides to take action. These types of incidents aren't typical campground etiquette. What is going on here? Has Jenny stumbled onto something dangerous?

Downstream Into Danger by Susan Davis Herring is an exciting adventure novel containing a puzzle to solve, a hint of danger, a little bit of action, and some amateur sleuthing. Engaging characters, a well-thought-out plot, a suspenseful storyline, and the incredible outdoor setting make a captivating combination. Centered on the main character's exploration of the area, the descriptions of the location are enchanting. The trips across the lake and rivers are not only enjoyable but also educational, and the author's explanation of canoeing and paddling is informative. It is a suspenseful tale that will captivate outdoor enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys mystery novels with a strong female protagonist.

Jon Michael Miller

In Downstream Into Danger by Susan Davis Herring, Jenny, the protagonist, is thirty-ish and an independent example of the above description. She is a writer of magazine articles about interesting backwoods places (Asheville, N.C.) and of reviews about camping and boating gear. She finds herself on assignment to test a new model of collapsible kayak paddle on a lake and its feeding creeks, which have mild to middle-level whitewater. She settles into an eastern Tennessee state campground where she soon learns of a local problem with drug trafficking. Jenny has no reservations about leaving her site untended and wandering here and there, making new acquaintances. No reservations, of course, until her site is ransacked while she is out testing the new type of kayak paddle. And until she stumbles upon a poorly buried box of pharmaceutical cocaine bottles. It seems some area residents are dealing with bad economic times by using the surrounding forests for drop-off/pick-ups points in the easy and lucrative narcotics trade. Undaunted, however, she continues strolling and boating alone, soon meeting a fellow spirit and park ranger intent upon protecting her, and perhaps more.

Downstream Into Danger by Susan Davis Herring is an easy-to-read novel for anyone who loves kayaking, boating, hydrodynamics, fly fishing, camping, adventure, mystery, budding romance, courage, efficiency, the woods, birds and animals, and friendly people. My immediate impression of this setting is the friendliness and downhome nature of the campers. Jenny enters in her green Jeep, finds her spot, sets up, and soon we meet an array of fellow campers who stroll by to shoot the breeze as if they’ve known each other forever. And so, the dangers and mystery of backwoods petty thieves and drug traffickers unravel. In a brisk, fast-paced, hard-to-stop-reading mystery and adventure tale, Downstream Into Danger by Susan Davis Herring presents a role model of self-sufficiency and independence for all young women. I’m making sure my high-school granddaughter gets a copy as soon as it’s available.