15 books like Deep Focus

By Nick Sullivan,

Here are 15 books that Deep Focus fans have personally recommended if you like Deep Focus. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Low Tide

Don Rich Author Of Coastal Jury

From my list on coastal mystery and adventure.

Who am I?

I’m an entrepreneur who was born literally within sight of the Intracoastal Waterway in South Florida. Got my first boat (a dinghy) when I was six. I used to drive an airboat on Lake Okeechobee and learned to fly back when I was a teenager. Since then, I’ve flown over a dozen different types of planes and even a helicopter. As a kid, I spent a lot of time in the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, and the Antilles. In my late teens I worked on various private sportfishing boats in Florida, Georgia, and the Bahamas. With this much time spent on, in, under, or around the water, I was destined to write coastal novels. 

Don's book list on coastal mystery and adventure

Don Rich Why did Don love this book?

Dawn Lee was a friend and an inspiration to me. Cancer took her from us way too soon, but she left behind a large legacy of great books that were set on the Gulf coast in the panhandle of Florida. Low Tide is the first book in her Forgotten Coast Florida Suspense series which launched her into the bestseller ranks. If you ask anyone who’s read her what makes her writing so special, they’ll all tell you it’s her uniquely crafted characters. The plots and the twists of her stories are top-notch as well, but the characters are simply amazing.

By Dawn Lee McKenna,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Low Tide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Apalachicola, Florida, sinister things are afoot, as sinister things tend to be.Lt. Maggie Redmond is called to a crime scene on St. George Island, where she is met with the body of Gregory Boudreaux. The medical examiner calls it a suicide, but no one knows that Maggie has a horrible connection to the dead man.When Gregory’s uncle, Bennett Boudreaux, the richest and scariest man in town, takes a sudden interest in Maggie, people start to wonder, Maggie included. Maggie knows he may suspect her of killing his nephew, but she finds herself slowly drawn to the man. As Maggie…


Book cover of Stolen Sommer

Don Rich Author Of Coastal Jury

From my list on coastal mystery and adventure.

Who am I?

I’m an entrepreneur who was born literally within sight of the Intracoastal Waterway in South Florida. Got my first boat (a dinghy) when I was six. I used to drive an airboat on Lake Okeechobee and learned to fly back when I was a teenager. Since then, I’ve flown over a dozen different types of planes and even a helicopter. As a kid, I spent a lot of time in the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, and the Antilles. In my late teens I worked on various private sportfishing boats in Florida, Georgia, and the Bahamas. With this much time spent on, in, under, or around the water, I was destined to write coastal novels. 

Don's book list on coastal mystery and adventure

Don Rich Why did Don love this book?

I have a deep and long-standing love of coastal adventure books, and Stolen Sommer is the best I’ve ever read. Yes, that’s a bold statement, but Nick Harvey’s work with this book resonated with me and backs up my choice completely. I even found myself holding my breath at a couple of points. Harvey keeps the reader guessing throughout the story with his carefully crafted characters that seem real enough to step off the pages. While that’s the ultimate goal of every author (at least it should be), few do it as well as Nick Harvey does in this great mystery that’s set in the beautiful Cayman Islands.

By Nicholas Harvey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stolen Sommer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new crime. An old secret. A familiar demon.

When the Cayman Islands police investigate a burglary, Constable Nora Sommer recognises the victim from a past she's desperate to forget.

As thefts continue, consuming the department's focus and resources, Nora can't shake her new found knowledge - a guilty man living a happy life… behind a lie.

A missing girl adds further strain, and with little evidence in either case, Nora develops an improbable theory she's determined to prove.

How far will Nora go to right the wrong one man will do anything to hide?

Find out in book two…


Book cover of The Lonely Silver Rain

Rob Avery Author Of Close-Hauled

From my list on a hard-nosed detective series.

Who am I?

I grew up in California when cameras had flashcubes, skateboards had clay wheels, and kids longed for a lime-green Schwinn Stingray. Sailing, surfing, beach parties, and rock music were staples of my youth. Over time, we lost the Beatles but found the Allman Brothers, Zeppelin, and The Who. Disco had not yet destroyed us. I ditched the skateboard but kept sailing. Later, I became a criminal defense attorney. My profession inspires me to write realistic mystery/thriller novels. My sailing provides the setting. My goal is to give readers a solid, entertaining tale while bringing them to warm waters and island cultures and putting a little sand between their toes.

Rob's book list on a hard-nosed detective series

Rob Avery Why did Rob love this book?

Travis McGee lives aboard a houseboat he won in a poker game. A self-described “salvage consultant,” he’ll keep half of whatever he recovers for you. Travis locates a stolen boat for a friend, but this offends some South American drug dealers and they put him on a hit list. A subplot develops when somebody leaves little cats made of pipe cleaners on his houseboat. I enjoyed the strong female characters in this book and the non-stop action. The resolution is wonderful and shows a side of McGee the reader has never seen before. This is the last of twenty-one Travis McGee novels written by MacDonald.

By John D. MacDonald,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lonely Silver Rain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From a beloved master of crime fiction, The Lonely Silver Rain is one of many classic novels featuring Travis McGee, the hard-boiled detective who lives on a houseboat.
 
Travis McGee has luck to thank for his reputation as a first-rate salvager of stolen boats. Now Billy Ingraham, a self-made tycoon, is betting that McGee can locate his $700,000 custom cruiser. McGee isn’t so sure. He knows all too well the dangerous link between Florida boatjackings and the drug trade, and he’s vowed never to swim with the sharks—but if he wants to keep his head (AKA finances) above water, swim…


Book cover of Backwater Channel

Don Rich Author Of Coastal Jury

From my list on coastal mystery and adventure.

Who am I?

I’m an entrepreneur who was born literally within sight of the Intracoastal Waterway in South Florida. Got my first boat (a dinghy) when I was six. I used to drive an airboat on Lake Okeechobee and learned to fly back when I was a teenager. Since then, I’ve flown over a dozen different types of planes and even a helicopter. As a kid, I spent a lot of time in the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, and the Antilles. In my late teens I worked on various private sportfishing boats in Florida, Georgia, and the Bahamas. With this much time spent on, in, under, or around the water, I was destined to write coastal novels. 

Don's book list on coastal mystery and adventure

Don Rich Why did Don love this book?

I first started reading Becker with his Mac Travis series (which I also loved), but when he created Kurt Hunter, I was totally hooked. He and I both share a love for the area around Biscayne Bay, which is where he set the Kurt Hunter Mysteries. Hunter is a Park Ranger who patrols and protects the underwater national park in that area. This creates great and unique plot opportunities, of which Becker takes full advantage. Oh, and then there are the rare saltwater crocodiles that make appearances throughout Backwater Channel. Real creatures, unique to the area. Really nasty, too!

By Steven Becker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Backwater Channel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You’d think a nuclear power plant was dangerous enough …

That’s what special agent Kurt Hunter thought until, while out fishing, he witnesses a murder at the Turkey Point nuclear power plant. After being assigned the case, Kurt is pulled into the convoluted politics of Miami only to find out that the embattled power plant is only a pawn in a more deadly game.

Greed and corruption are nothing new to pristine Biscayne Bay. With the plant's miles of cooling canals providing essential habitat for several endangered species, Kurt is thrown into a rift between warring environmentalists and power-hungry corporate…


Book cover of Twelve Mile Bank

Sharon Ward Author Of In Deep

From my list on mysteries set on a tropical island.

Who am I?

Even as a kid, I was intrigued by the underwater world, so as an adult, I learned to scuba dive. I took to it like a fish to water, and my husband and I spent the next several years traveling to tropical islands to experience the local dive conditions whenever possible. I loved learning how every island had a different culture and a different undersea environment. Since I love tropical islands, scuba diving, mysteries, and adventure stories, these books really hit my sweet spot.

Sharon's book list on mysteries set on a tropical island

Sharon Ward Why did Sharon love this book?

The Cayman Islands are my favorite place in the world, so a mystery featuring a female divemaster on Grand Cayman is right up my alley. AJ Bailey, the protagonist, is a realistic portrayal of a woman in a man’s world. Many books in the tropical islands have female protagonists, but they are often gun-toting, knife-wielding super-models, not realistic women like Harvey’s protagonist. 

The diving details are spot on; the dive site descriptions are accurate; and the thrilling story will keep you turning pages to the very end. A great start to a super series.

By Nicholas Harvey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Twelve Mile Bank as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A mysterious shipwreck. A ruthless treasure hunter. A race against time.

Cayman Islands divemaster AJ Bailey is searching for a long forgotten WWII U-boat at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea. Armed with nothing more than an adventurous spirit and her late grandfather’s tale, she's determined to find the submarine and the secret it protects.

When a wealthy treasure hunter shows up with a ruthless crew, AJ becomes entangled in a frantic duel to find the precious piece of history. Diving into the path of merciless killers at treacherous depths, she must fight to keep her grandfather’s dream - and…


Book cover of Deadly Sommer

Armand Rosamilia Author Of Shake Down

From my list on tropical author thrillers.

Who am I?

I am such a huge fan of Thrillers. Always have been, since I started reading Dean Koontz at 12. The Tropical Authors listed are some of my favorites, but they are a stepping stone to other great authors who write unique thrillers as well. I hope you’ll check them out, and let me know if you find a new favorite. I also love suggestions as well. (Of other authors, please don’t be tacky and suggest your own book!) 

Armand's book list on tropical author thrillers

Armand Rosamilia Why did Armand love this book?

A great start to a new series, but you really need to read anything by this author. He has an easy cadence with his stories, and his characters are layered and can surprise you. So can the ‘bad guy’ in this one, too. Lots of diving and puzzle-solving in this adventure story, with the secondary characters equally as exciting as the main one. I’m looking forward to the second book, coming in 2022. 

By Nicholas Harvey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Deadly Sommer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One missing girl. Two lives on the line. Four treacherous challenges.

Nora Sommer's first case for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service is one she'll never forget - if she survives.

When the daughter of a wealthy businessman is taken, Nora is first on the scene and unwittingly 'chosen' by the kidnapper. With the crime live-streamed across the internet, the eyes of the world are upon her as she faces a sequence of difficult challenges with the life of the kidnapped girl hanging on Nora's success - or failure.

Deadly Sommer is the thrilling first book in the Nora Sommer…


Book cover of Far Tortuga

Sharika Crawford Author Of The Last Turtlemen of the Caribbean: Waterscapes of Labor, Conservation, and Boundary Making

From my list on the maritime Caribbean.

Who am I?

Although my Midwestern roots in southwest Michigan situated me far away from the sea, I am now an expert on small islands and remote communities in the greater Caribbean. As a result, I grew to understand that much of the everyday lived experiences of island people must contend with the sea. As a result, I have spent the last two decades studying topics such as migration, fishing, and even conservation as related to small islands from the better-known Cayman Islands to the lesser-known San Andrés and Providencia Islands. I am a history professor at the US Naval Academy.

Sharika's book list on the maritime Caribbean

Sharika Crawford Why did Sharika love this book?

Peter Matthiessen was considered one of America’s great wilderness writers. Yet in an interview, before he died in 2014, Matthiessen identified Far Tortuga as his personal favorite of all the books he had written. In this novel, Matthiessen offers a fictional account of his participation on one of the last turtle hunting voyages in the Caribbean. Drawing on his experience on the said voyage in the 1960s, Matthiessen vividly displays his keen observation skills with his depictions of the Caymanian turtle hunters and the challenges of this last generation of turtlemen. 

By Peter Matthiessen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Far Tortuga as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This adventure story is set in the Caribbean and describes the last voyage of the "Lillias Eden", an old wooden schooner employed in the turtle trade. The author's previous books include "The Snow Leopard", "Men's Lives", "The Cloud Forest" and "Under the Mountain Wall".


Book cover of Swimming with the Dead: An Underwater Investigation

Nicholas Harvey Author Of Twelve Mile Bank

From my list on female scuba diving thrillers and mysteries.

Who am I?

My wife suggested we try scuba diving while on holiday in Grand Cayman. We were already falling in love with the island, and the incredible experience underwater opened a whole new world to us. From that moment on, our yearly travels changed completely. Our destination choices were now based upon diving opportunities. That was twenty years ago. Today, I’m a certified divemaster with dives all over the US (including Hawaii), the Caribbean (including Cuba), Australia, and even Iceland. Throw in my sense of adventure as a former race car driver, motorcycle rider, and outdoor adventurer, and I had plenty of personal experiences to create the AJ Bailey series.

Nicholas' book list on female scuba diving thrillers and mysteries

Nicholas Harvey Why did Nicholas love this book?

Kathy’s series – which I wish she’d continue one day – inspired me to include my passion for scuba diving in my novels. Her main character, Hannah Sampson, is a member of the Denver Underwater CSI team, who’s asked to help the police in the British Virgin Islands investigate a case. Needless to say, she stays on the island for the following books and becomes embroiled in hair-raising cases that challenge her above and below the water.

Kathy published her series at a time when very few novels centered around diving, and certainly didn’t include a female protagonist. I found her work transported me to the islands, and enthused me to create AJ Bailey and subsequently, Nora Sommer.

By Kathy Brandt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Swimming with the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Murder runs deep in a thrilling new series.
An Underwater Investigation featuring C.S.I. diver Hannah Sampson.

Summoned to the sun-drenched beaches of the British Virgin Islands, Hannah Sampson is fully prepared to face unknowable dangers beneath the crystal-clear waters of an idyllic paradise. But the possibility of murder runs deeper and darker than the sea itself. Her police commissioner's son-an expert diver and researcher-was found dead, pinned under the submerged wreckage of a cargo ship. Whatever the victim was looking for, he found.

Whatever he found was the death of him. Now Hannah must discover for herself what lies beneath-a…


Book cover of Something in the Water

Jen Craven Author Of Best Years of Your Life

From my list on complicated female characters and a good plot twist.

Who am I?

As an avid reader and author myself, I love books that keep me on the edge of my seat and thrust me into a world of secrets and lies. There’s nothing better than seeing trouble coming for a character and wondering how in the world they’re going to make things right. I read and write these types of stories—ones that are relatable, emotionally charged, and twisty. To me, they’re the most fun! 

Jen's book list on complicated female characters and a good plot twist

Jen Craven Why did Jen love this book?

The question that comes to mind with this book is, “If you could make a simple choice to change your life even if you know it’s wrong, would you?” I kept wondering what I would do in the character’s situation. If you’re drawn to moral dilemmas, ethical decisions, and secrets and lies, this book is for you. A complete page-turner, I couldn’t put it down. There are twists you don’t see coming, but at the heart is a story about ideals and the mistakes we make trying to reach them. 

By Catherine Steadman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Something in the Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK • “A psychological thriller that captivated me from page one. What unfolds makes for a wild, page-turning ride! It’s the perfect beach read!”—Reese Witherspoon

A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller from the author of Mr. Nobody and The Disappearing Act.

“Steadman keeps the suspense ratcheted up.”—The New York Times

ITW THRILLER AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY GLAMOUR AND NEWSWEEK

If you could make one simple choice that would…


Book cover of Deep Shadow

Sharon Ward Author Of In Deep

From my list on mysteries set on a tropical island.

Who am I?

Even as a kid, I was intrigued by the underwater world, so as an adult, I learned to scuba dive. I took to it like a fish to water, and my husband and I spent the next several years traveling to tropical islands to experience the local dive conditions whenever possible. I loved learning how every island had a different culture and a different undersea environment. Since I love tropical islands, scuba diving, mysteries, and adventure stories, these books really hit my sweet spot.

Sharon's book list on mysteries set on a tropical island

Sharon Ward Why did Sharon love this book?

As a long-time diver, I was enthralled by the details of the undersea world. Set on the tropical island of Bonaire, a scuba diver’s paradise, this book introduces the reader to two great characters, divemasters Boone Fischer and Emily Durand. 

The author interweaves Boone and Emily’s budding romance with compelling descriptions of the diving and the sea life they encounter. The way the two divemasters get involved in the search for the drug submarine at the heart of the mystery is plausible. Twists and turns on every page keep the reader guessing about the fate of the sub, its crew, the cruise ship, and most critically, the two highly appealing divemasters who use every skill they have to avert disaster. I was instantly hooked on the series.

By Nick Sullivan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Deep Shadow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, something lethal is on the move.

Scuba divers travel from all over the world to visit the little island of Bonaire, with its crystal-clear waters and a host of beautiful marine life. After three years in the “Diver's Paradise”, divemaster Boone Fischer thought he’d seen it all; but on a routine afternoon dive, he spots something that will turn his tranquil life upside down.

From the arid shores of the ABC Islands to the tropical jungles of Venezuela—from the ocean depths of the Southern Caribbean, to the lush islands of the Northern Leewards,…


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