Dark Sea contains all the elements of a sustaining series of entertaining novels. It’s protagonist Lili contains a deep spiritualism tied in with native American and other legend-based cultures. Her partner in life, Cal Green aka Sitting Crow is a well-realized character who is not merely a sidekick to Lili. The Cape Cod setting is both colorful and allows for the easy familiarity among the people within its environs. (When someone suddenly spots someone they have been seeking for days walking across the street in New York or London, one always thinks, ‘Oh come on!’ In Cape Cod, that coincidence is much more believable.) Add in symbolism, smooth writing, and – oh yes – a plane crash and murder, all in all that makes for a well-filled plate.

“Janis, the necklace was a priceless heirloom. Mom gave that to you before she died!”

Dark Sea is the second part of the Shadowwater series. I say ‘part’ rather than novel because this latest edition is very much a continuation of the first book that gives the series its name. So, the question naturally follows, ‘Is it necessary to have read the first book in order to understand the second?’ It is a difficult question to answer, insofar as I had not and have not read Shadowwater and still was able to get in with the flow of Dark Sea with no difficulty.

Undoubtedly and indeed logically reading the series from the beginning would provide the reader with more insights into each succeeding volume, but as a necessity? No worries. Wendy Shreve writes solid, sturdy prose that gives way in a positive sense to a more passionate voice when she writes about Cape Cod itself. It is clearly a land and a coast that the author loves.

Dark Sea is a fine read for travelers, whether that is abroad, on a plane, or that most delightful of all vacations taken in one’s favourite chair with a good beverage served to the side.