Friday, January 30, 2015

The Slip by Katie Smith Matison

Summary from Amazon:
In 1920, the Byzantium sank off the coast of St. Thomas with its precious cargo of emeralds. Underwriters of Lloyd’s of London took ownership of the sunken hull and whatever emeralds might someday be salvaged. Nearly a century later, treasure recovery becomes big business. Salvage companies and bounty hunters comb the ocean floor for lost gems. As widow Brandy Blake soon finds out, treasure recovery isn’t just lucrative, it’s also dangerous.
When Brandy returns to her native New Orleans to rebuild her life after her husband dies while searching for Byzantium’s lost emerald’s, she realizes that he recovered more jewels than he every let on.  But Brandy isn’t the only one who knows about her husband’s stash. Recov, an unscrupulous salvage company, wants the emeralds, and the award money that comes with it.
Brandy’s daughter, Rene, become blackmail collateral, but Rene has an ally in Raleigh, an unusual squirrel. The unlikely twosome flee alligators, poisonous snakes and a sociopath in the Louisiana swamps while Brandy battles for her daughter’s safety and her husband’s hard won legacy.
Matison’s legal thriller, The Slip, takes the reader on a wild ride into the intriguing realm of modern day treasure hunting.

Kirkus Review:

About the Author:
Katie Smith Matison is a Maritime attorney practicing in Seattle. She received her JD and an LLM in Admiralty from Tulane University in New Orleans. She has published numerous articles regarding maritime law in Lloyd’s of London Press, the Tulane Maritime Law Journal and the Journal of Transportation, Logistics and Policy. After working as a district attorney, she now focuses on maritime law, handling cases for the London insurance market and various insurers.

Discussion Questions from the author and book club leaders:
1. Discuss the backdrop of the book and settings – Virgin Islands, New Orleans, swamps, etc.

2.  Discuss the characters of the book:

a. Discuss the women and their relationships.

b. Her husband’s business partner was obviously a bad guy. What do you surmise about her husband? Discuss the different men, including Thad and Ewan.

c. Discuss the animal characters and their role in the story. (Raleigh, Kiki, Chloe)

d. Who was your favorite character and why?

3. Were you surprised that Brandy and Claude didn’t get together and what do you think happened?

4. What do you think Brandy should have done when she found the emeralds?

5. Do you think Brandy should have tried to settle the lawsuits earlier? Could that have avoided her daughter’s kidnapping?

6. What do you think about the swamp scenes with Raleigh and Rene?

7. What did you like most about the book? Least?

8. When did you make the connection between Raleigh and Gerald Morris?  See p 489. Did you feel that Raleigh finally achieved what Gerald could not do in life? 

9. What are your thoughts about reincarnation?