‘Serenity Submerged,’ by Craig A. Hart

I’m enjoying Craig A. Hart’s Shelby Alexander series, set in the Michigan lakeside town of Serenity. Serenity Submerged is Number Four in sequence.

Shelby is a retired boxer who moved home to Serenity for a quieter life. So far his success in that regard has been negligible. This time out, a woman comes to see him, identifying herself as an FBI agent. She shows him a man’s picture and asks if he recognizes him. Shelby doesn’t admit it, but he’s shocked to see that it’s his friend Fritz, a resort owner. When he goes to ask Fritz about it, he learns that Fritz has a dark past. He’s holding some money that some bad people want very much. And now, apparently, he’s been located.

Meanwhile, a group of three criminals come into town, on the hunt for Fritz. Two are merely tough guys, but the third is a monster – a tall, ugly brute who looks like Frankenstein’s monster with a messed-up face.

Anyone who’s been following this series will know that Shelby and the monster are destined for a fistfight.

Serenity Submerged is a well-done “small” thriller – I like stories where the stakes are kept personal, instead of end-of-the-world stuff. The characters are fun – I especially enjoy the interplay between Shelby and his ex-cop friend Mac. And there were surprises. Plus some interpersonal relationship stuff for the ladies.

Recommended, with cautions for the usual suspects.

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