"I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and I love that it is a fast read. Naomi is funny and smart with just enough bad traits and character flaws to make her both realistic and believable. [...] I am giving R.I.P. in Reykjavík by A. R. Kennedy five stars and recommending it to all you cozy mystery readers out there." - Jennifer, Goodreads
Traveling with your family can be murder.
One wedding party + one estranged mother = another vacation that goes array for Naomi.
Naomi is off on another international vacation. She thinks traveling with her mother will be the most difficult part of her trip until she meets the rest of the tour group—a wedding party. It only gets worse when she finds the groom dead. Everyone’s a suspect on her Icelandic tour of this stunning country.
He looked at me pointedly. Mistakes made from a previous vacation, I had listened closely to Sigi’s instructions. I wondered if my mother had warned him I had a tendency to not listen.
He stepped off the platform, camera at the ready, and waved me in. I adjusted my face mask and took one last deep breath before putting the snorkel in my mouth. I lay prone on the water and took in the breathtaking sight the underwater view held for us. From above, you could not see the mesmerizing colors and depth.
The blue-green water was crystal clear. The jagged sides were lined with dark volcanic rocks. There was nothing but water and rocks to view. No fish. No coral. Nothing other snorkeling adventures would entail. And yet it was captivating. It held a range of blues and greens with occasional golden brown glistening off the rocks. The bottom seemed miles away.
The gentle current took me away. In a Superman-like pose, I floated in the glacial water between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. I didn’t even know such a thing existed before booking the trip.
I felt nothing. The water was the clearest I’d ever seen. The depth infinite.
As the depths along the edge varied, so did the colors. Some tans, some blues, some greens colored my vision. I looked back and saw the others starting to get in the water.
Sigi swam around them snapping photos.
I occasionally kicked when the current slowed. Sigi glided toward me and took a few photos. He took his head out of the water. Though muffled, I heard him say that the turn was coming up. Not wanting to miss any of the view, I didn’t look up. I gave him a thumbs-up.
Moments later, the crosscurrent hit me as the guide had warned. It was with more force than I had expected.
Visions of being swept away into some lake ran through my mind. I gently kicked, trying to fight it. It seemed to do little and I was farther from the left lava rock wall that I’d been instructed to stay close to. I thought I heard Sigi shout my name. I kicked harder and fought the current and, finally, I won.
As I made the turn, the crosscurrent eased and I returned to a relaxing float on the crystal-clear water. The depth was far more shallow after the turn but its beauty didn’t wane.
The sunlight glinted on the surface ahead of me, tinting the water with an orange hue. I hoped Sigi’s photos captured a portion of this beauty.
I saw the ending spot, the stairs ahead. I took a few more mental pictures before gently kicking my legs to propel me there.
As I got to the upright staircase, I grabbed the rails and climbed the stairs out of the water. I realized my face was frozen. Distracted by the beauty of the Silfra, I hadn’t noticed until I removed the face mask and snorkel.
I looked back at the water. I was first out of the water. Seven bodies, clad in black wet suits, lay along the water surface. I could only identify Sigi because of the camera. He often held his head out of the water and took note of his group.
My mother took more photos of me in my dry suit. I only wanted pictures of the Silfra fissure, not me in the unflattering suit. She reviewed her photos. “This may be the picture I use for the Christmas letter.”
“Thanks,” I mumbled.
The chill of the water hit me and my body began to shake.
I took off the gloves. It only made the chill worse.
Becca got out of the water next. “That was neat,” she said.
Jed was next. “So cool!”
I watched as, one by one, the group headed to the stairs. Except one, who didn’t seem to be making progress. He, or she, lay prone on the water. I couldn’t tell who it was. Everyone looked the same in their dry suits.
Callie, followed by her mother, then father, got out of the water. The wedding group huddled around each other, retelling their experiences.
I was the only one to see Milo wasn’t moving. I ran up to the guide, who had made it to the stairs, and pointed at Milo. “He’s not moving,” I told Sigi.
“We always get one straggler. Probably just enjoying the view. It’s spectacular, isn’t it?” he asked.
“Definitely.” I looked back at Milo. I had taken a few moments before getting out too. “Yeah, you’re probably right,” I conceded.
But it didn’t feel right. Flashbacks from my safari hit me. I wiped them from my mind. Just because I found a dead body on the last trip did not mean I’d find one on this trip.
It was implausible really. Who goes on vacation and finds a dead body? Twice?
The guide looked at his watch and called out. “Milo, time to come in!”
He swam out to him. I saw him wave his hand underwater in front of Milo’s prone face.
The group had finally noticed one of them was missing.
“What’s Milo doing?” Frank asked.
“Joking around probably,” Jed answered.
Teresa looked at her watch. “It’s time to get back to the hotel. We have reservations at five.”
“We were already running late. I told you not to make that reservation so early,” Callie told her mother.
The guide poked Milo. There was no response. He poked him again, this time with more force, and Milo’s body flipped over. Sigi screamed.
“Stop joking around, Milo!” Jed yelled.
“Call 112,” Sigi yelled toward us.
Only my mother had her cell phone on her.
She fumbled with it and dialed 911.
“No!” I yelled. “Give it to me.” I dialed 112. I hesitated as the number rang. I couldn’t pronounce where we were. Would “Thing-something” be enough to locate us?
The wedding group started screaming and Jed jumped back in the water to help Sigi bring Milo to the stairs. The commotion brought others to the area.
Another guide ran up and took the phone from me. He spoke in Icelandic to the operator.
Frank ran to the ladder and helped Sigi and Jed pull Milo out of the water.
They started CPR. My mother and I stood helpless off to the side.
Callie screamed when Sigi announced, “He’s dead.”
About the author:
A R Kennedy lives in Long Beach, New York, with her two pups. She works hard to put food on the floor for them. As her favorite T-shirt says, ‘I work so my dog can have a better life'. She’s an avid traveler. But don’t worry. While she’s away, her parents dote on their grand-puppies even more than she does. Her writing is a combination of her love of travel, animals, and the journey we all take to find ourselves.
Author's Giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway
the more you comment, the better your chances of winning