Madness & Mayhem

Deadly Darkness in the Dry Tortugas

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
242 Pages
Reviewed on 06/12/2024
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Author Biography

Angela is a poet, memoirist, mystery writer, and author of YA novels. She has created memorable, moving tales about the sometimes unexpected and challenging road to first love. Fear inspired me to write this book. I couldn't imagine being alone on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas overnight with nothing but a lantern and strangers primitive camping with me.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Angelique Papayannopoulos for Readers' Favorite

Madness & Mayhem (Deadly Darkness in the Dry Tortugas) is a murder mystery by Angela Grey and Paige Peterson. A group of friends, mostly couples, are looking for an exotic and romantic time on the island of the Dry Tortugas, southeast of Key West in the Gulf of Mexico. The island, which can only be reached by boat or seaplane, is surrounded by gorgeous coral reefs, an abundance of marine life, immaculate beaches, and campsites where visitors can enjoy the island's natural beauty. Dead bodies, however, begin to pile up when darkness descends and a serial killer emerges. As strange behaviors and killings go on every night, suspicion is raised about one of the men, who seems to display a mental disorder as a result of his wife's untimely death. The friends begin to experience anxiety and worry that one of them is the murderer, but who is it and why?

Madness & Mayhem (Deadly Darkness in the Dry Tortugas) is told in alternating timelines of then and now. After what seemed to be a slow start in the beginning, the reader will be pleasantly delighted as the tale picks up pace. The novel is full of notable and distinctive characters, and each one raises the suspicion that someone within the group is the culprit. The sequence of events and the motivation behind the murders unravel and peak in a thrilling ending. Angela Grey and Paige Peterson have expertly crafted a narrative with a deft plot that culminates in a surprising resolution. The descriptions of the island are vivid, accurate, and masterfully articulated, indicating that the authors are familiar with the island and camping life. In addition to the prevalent themes of friendship and trust, the authors have tactfully raised awareness of mental illness. Readers who enjoy romantic suspense and murder mysteries will enjoy this book.

Keith Mbuya

Callie, a twenty-six-year-old architect, and her fiancé Liam, with several acquaintances and friends, were on Garden Key Island to camp and have a good time. But then, perhaps this was not exclusively on everyone’s "itinerary." Albeit Callie is wearing his engagement ring, Liam seems more interested in ensnaring Jami, a Scandinavian beauty involved with another man. While everyone expects Jack, a handsome older engineer, and Callie’s ex, to be mourning his deceased wife, he is busy making out with a recent high school graduate. It does not help that there are whispered rumors about his involvement in his wife’s demise. It only gets worse when all this creates a rift in the group and everyone seems to be fighting, hurting, or trying to win back lost love. However, the group soon learns that these are the least of their worries. A serial killer lurking in the shadows of the island was taking them out one by one. With all that going on, can they trust each other and work together to find the perp, who could be anyone among them, before it’s too late? Find out in Angela Grey and Paige Peterson’s Madness and Mayhem: Deadly Darkness in the Dry Tortugas.

Embedding this intriguing plot in a tangled web of mystery, the authors use vivid depictions and a multi-perspective timeline to plunge readers into a world full of dangerous love triangles and affairs, with lust, jealousy, secrets, deceit, heartbreaks, drama, adventure, suspense, and horror. Love was the only thing that brought the couples and the group together, yet, ironically, it was the motivation and reason behind all the bad blood and wicked acts among them. This made tracking the murderer an uphill task since everyone seemed to have a bone to pick with someone else, yet, at the same time, in the context of love, seemed innocent or incapable of the murders. The cast’s behavior mirrors real-life situations. One wonders why despite being habitually beaten up by her husband, Dana still defended him before the group and other people who offered judgment. And why, despite knowing that Liam was in love with Jami, Callie still believed in her engagement to Liam, and their relationship. Lovers of mystery murder novels with a touch of romantic drama will find Angela Grey and Paige Peterson’s Madness and Mayhem an enthralling read.

Essien Asian

A group retreats to Garden Key Island in the Tortugas National Park to unwind and enjoy themselves away from prying eyes and distractions. When a park ranger suddenly disappears, and some of their fellow revelers end up dead, they suspect they may have a serial killer on their hands. In Madness and Mayhem: Deadly Darkness in the Dry Tortugas by Angela Grey and Paige Peterson, mistrust now permeates the air in a group where everyone has a dark secret worth killing for to keep hidden. Jami, Abi, Kessia, Jack, Liam, and their newfound friends struggle to stay one step ahead of a psychotic killer with a personal grudge.

Madness and Mayhem by Angela Grey and Paige Peterson combines romance, murder, and mystery. The story takes place in a picturesque national park in America. Peterson and Grey highlight the unique features of the location with detailed descriptions of the abundant wildlife and a bit of the region's history, drawing the reader in and making them want to visit the area for themselves. As the plot unfolds, the authors emphasize how the dynamics of relationships within this group are ever-changing, resulting in impressive character development as the characters' origin stories gradually reveal themselves. With deft use of questions to create a climate of mistrust between strangers, the authors craft engaging dialogues that will stimulate readers to look for clues. The narrative unfolds at breakneck speed as the revelations emerge, heightening the suspense and fostering a sense of urgency. Romance fans looking for something a little off the beaten track will also enjoy this novel.