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Book Review: Making Waves by Catherine Todd

Copyright: 1997 by Catherine Todd
Genre: Mystery, humor.

Carolyn James is about to become single at the age of forty. Her lawyer, husband has left her in Making Waves by Catherine Todd. Caroline and Steve have been married for close to twenty years. They have two teenage children and a nice home that Caroline has cared for while Steve has furthered his law career. She is a writer, although her career would be classified more as a hobby than a means of support. Settlement talks have not yet begun when Caroline runs into Eleanor Hampton, the ex-wife of a partner in Steve’s law firm. Eleanor wastes no time warning Caroline of the ins and outs of divorce, warning her of the unscrupulous tactics utilized by the firm in her settlement. Extremely bitter, Eleanor gives Caroline a file of evidence regarding the unfair treatment she has received, suggesting that Caroline write about it for the good of other women. Then Eleanor ends up dead, having drowned in a hot tub.

In spite of warnings from her friends, soon-to-be ex-husband, and some members of his firm, Caroline begins an amateur investigation of Eleanor’s death. Things don’t add up to the accident or suicide that the dead was proclaimed to be. As she turns up clue after clue, Steve begins to fight dirty over the divorce settlement. He threatens a custody battle, tries to put the house up for sale without her knowledge, and pulls strings so that no lawyer in the area will represent her. Rather than allow herself to fall into depression or allow herself to be overcome by fear, Caroline continues the fight on both levels. The result is an often-humorous mystery that holds the reader’s attention throughout.

Making Waves was written in 1997, however it is as pertinent today as it was twenty years ago. The only factor that seemed outdated was the protagonist’s distrust of cell phones. Although it was a story of a woman scorned, the main character Caroline was not that woman. Rather than wallow in misery, she fought for what she believed in, ultimately coming out ahead. This was Catherine Todd’s first novel and it was definitely worth reading. It is a great example of how a reader does not have to go out and spend a fortune on new books as there are millions of good books available that they have not yet read.

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