The notion of someone faking his own death to start a new life caught my attention from the start. Why would someone go to this extreme? What crisis would propel someone to risk throwing away everything that they had worked so hard for?
THE DIVE is very intense, in the sense that it is quick paced and very visual--like a good movie. At the same time, the story feels deeply personal because the reader is directly challenged to think like the main characters.
A bit of literary slight of hand got me to buy into the idea that Michael Charon was redeemable. The reader is thrown a curve. Perhaps I should say, "curves"... a woman, that is.
The story really takes on greater dimensionality with the introduction of Maria. She is a writer that Michael meets by chance in Berlin, Germany. A romance blossoms as they are thrown into some unusual situations involving political radicals. The author did a heck of a job creating tension as Michael and Maria fall in love and are plunged into perilous situations at the same time.
The second half of the book is about Maria's efforts to rescue Michael from some serious trouble he has gotten himself into. She is developed as a strong and intelligent character. Women will find the character of Maria extremely attractive. She is intelligent, crafty, strong-willed...and beautiful.
From the midpoint on, the author switches to Maria's perspective. This change-up gives THE DIVE a nice male-female balance. Beware: just because you see things through Maria's eyes doesn't mean that the intensity of this story subsides--quite the opposite! THE DIVE is not a simple romance. Not even close.
In the end, I was left wanting more, with the certain knowledge that this story had more ground to cover. The author has thrown in the first 12 chapters of the sequel, BREAKING THE SURFACE as a teaser. It worked because I want more.
Carolina Summers Book Reviews