Cover Image: Deadly Depths

Deadly Depths

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"Deadly Depths" by John F. Dobbyn is a thrilling mystery that dives into the world of archaeology, curses, and a quest for a priceless artifact. This captivating novel earns a solid four stars for its intriguing plot, well-drawn characters, and the seamless blend of mystery and adventure.

The story kicks off with the mysterious death of Professor Barrington Holmes, a renowned archaeologist close to uncovering a priceless artifact. Matthew Shane, a law professor and mentee of Holmes, becomes suspicious when the police label the death as a suicide. This sets the stage for an enthralling journey as Matthew is determined to unravel the truth behind his mentor's demise and provide closure to Holmes' widow.

Dobbyn weaves a complex narrative that introduces readers to "The Monkey's Paw," a group of notable archaeologists with a shared goal of finding a mysterious object of immense historical and financial value. The incorporation of a curse adds an intriguing layer to the plot, and as Matthew delves deeper, he discovers the horrific twists of fate that befell some members of the group.

The global wild goose chase that ensues, with Matthew joining forces with the remaining members of "The Monkey's Paw," adds a sense of adventure and urgency to the story. The quest for the cause of the apparent curse becomes a gripping journey that takes unexpected turns, keeping readers on the edge of their seats.

One of the strengths of "Deadly Depths" lies in its well-drawn characters. Matthew Shane is a compelling protagonist, driven by a sense of justice and loyalty to his mentor. The dynamics among the members of "The Monkey's Paw" add depth to the narrative, and each character brings a unique element to the unfolding mystery.

The novel expertly combines elements of suspense, adventure, and unexpected twists. Dobbyn's writing is engaging, and he skillfully builds tension throughout the story, leading to a climactic turn of events that even Professor Holmes could not have predicted.

In conclusion, "Deadly Depths" is a thrilling mystery that keeps readers engaged from start to finish. John F. Dobbyn's skillful storytelling, intricate plot, and well-developed characters make this novel a standout in the genre. If you enjoy mysteries with a touch of adventure and a dash of the unexpected, "Deadly Depths" is a compelling choice.

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The book was exciting and enticing. There is a nice plot with a merger of cultural lore and modern time to weave a tale of adventure, murder and beliefs. I liked it and finished it in a couple of sittings.

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I enjoyed the beginning of the novel for the mystery, and I enjoyed the historical side visits a lot! I had a fair idea of what the ending would be, but it was fun getting there! Well done job! I would recommend this book to those who like history, mystery, and good characters.....

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Deadly Depths is a very interesting novel that moves at a furious pace to solve the mystery of a murdered professor who is the father figure to the main character of the novel. The professor is an archaeologist who along with a group of four other archaeologists is tasked with a mission to find a precious artifact that is invaluable. using 5 different clues that are given to them separately. The pace is rapidly moving all over the American continent with historical facts about the pirates of the 15th century and the Aztec civilisation thrown in. Overall, it is a breathtaking story that is unputdownable, each page adding to the mystery until the very end. On the whole, the author has interwoven an intricate plot that is just spellbinding.

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A fun adventure mystery. Tha characters are well written. The plot kept me guessing. The historical parts were very interesting. Well worth the tead

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A striking international mystery. When law professor Matthew Shane hears that his friend and mentor, Professor Holmes, has been found dead in his office, apparently of suicide, he doesn't believe it. He vows to find the truth. In his research, he discovers that Holmes was part of a small group of archeologists who had recently embarked on a quest to find a valuable and culturally significant object that had been lost to time. But as members of the group start to turn up dead, it's clear that someone doesn't want this thing found. The stakes rise higher and higher as Matthew pieces together the clues. Can he solve the mystery behind Professor Holmes' death and find the treasure before it's too late?

This was a fun and well plotted adventure. Matthew visits many varied locations over the course of his journey, which I enjoyed. I especially liked the sections getting into the history of the treasure and how it traveled to its final location. Definite Indiana Jones vibes. Some great action scenes and a charismatic hero that you can root for, plus an engaging historical mystery. Would recommend.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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This book is great for the right person. Unfortunately, I don't think I was the right person. It was well-written and full of detail. You can see the homage to 'the Monkey's Paw' throughout and I can appreciate that. This isn't a book I would hand to just anyone, but in the hands of the right person, I think they would thoroughly enjoy this treasure hunting, adventure packed romp.

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A global wild goose chase is right. This started out all right, but just got sillier and sillier. The oligarch with the heart of gold and his daughter who immediately falls in love with our hero? Really? The overall harebrained scheme wasn't too bad, but was strung along so haphazardly that I just couldn't even suspend my disbelief. Every time Shane was in a scary situation he got out of it by some spectacular rescue or by his knowing by his gut feelings who to trust. Over and over and over and over it was feelings about strangers he had just met. Oh please. I'm afraid I am not interested in sequels.

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Matthew loses his best friend to a presumed suicide. Being a former investigator, he knows it was murder. . He searches a series of clues that were given to five friends, three of whom are dead. A diary he found talked about Captain Morgan and an ancient Aztec relic. Can he find the relic before the other two are murdered?

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the cover of this book was what first caught my eye. I did briefly scan the synopsis and decided it sounded ideal for me. I do like a good adventure story and this one was perfect and full of twists, mysteries and action-packed from the very beginning.

The book centres around Matthew Shane, his good friend and mentor who has committed suicide, but he knows this man and knows that this does not fit with what he knows of the man. This starts a journey that will take him around the world on a treasure hunt, a dangerous one.

Matthew is given clues and follows leads to discover what the mysterious Monkey Paw group is and who was in it. A group who would meet for a poker game once a year, all with a background in archaeology and given the chance to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime discovery. The problem is that they are being killed off.

I adored this book from the very outset and as I got to know the characters and understand the storyline I found myself being transported around the world and to some very exotic locations. There is a section of the story that goes back in time, into history and it made a fascinating and brilliant section to the story.

With pirates, Aztecs, the Spanish and the English trying to conquer parts of South America, religion and beliefs there is a huge amount going on. While the story feels really huge it reads really well. It is not confusing it just flows seamlessly from one page to the next.

Mixing historical fiction into the story was great as it gave it the glamour that anything related to pirates seems to exude. It was a story that I was able to visualise as I was reading. It had a feeling of a certain Dr. Jones movie franchise and had that same excitement to it mixed in with Dan Brown's character Robert Langdon.

This is a roller coaster of a story that is fast-paced and full of adventure. Races to discover an ancient artefact, piecing clues together and trying to stay alive while being chased around the globe. I enjoyed this one and I would definitely recommend it.

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Deadly Depths, by John F Dobbyn, is a fast paced murder mystery chock full of interesting history and diverse characters. While it's not a religious book, there's a sprinkling of prayer and praise, throughout, that I could appreciate. It's not the main focus or in your face, though. This is a great book for anyone interested in ancient cultures.
Matthew Shane's best friend and old archeology professor has been found unexpectedly deceased. What's worse is that he was found in his office at the Salem, Massachusetts university that they both teach at. So, when it's very publicly ruled a suicide, Matthew knows that something is fishy and promises Professor Holme's widow that he's going to get to the bottom of it.
The first thing that Matthew finds out is that Professor Holmes was part of a exclusive circle of archaeologists that were involved in a mysterious search for a prized ancient antique. Each of the five men were given a small clue but unexpected disaster had forced them to all return home. Now they're dying one by one. Will working with the surviving men only lead to more danger?

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Confession: Deadly Depths is not my typically-preferred type of suspense novel. I usually leave the Indiana-Jones-esque adventure reads to my husband who does love them. However, Dobbyn’s latest drew me in with three simple words from the book description – “The Monkey’s Paw”. My grandfather nurtured in me a love of short stories in the vein of O’Henry and Poe, and one such story that I devoured in high school was The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs. I won’t go into detail here, but look it up if you’ve never read it – it’s a fascinating exploration of ‘be careful what you wish for’. Anyway, after seeing that the group of archaeologists in Deadly Depths gave themselves that title, I had to see what connection, if any, Jacobs’ short story had to this novel. I am delighted to report that the parallels in theme combined with each story’s own distinct flair made the basis of my initial interest well-warranted. This is definitely not a rewrite of Jacobs’ classic but in many ways it IS an homage.

Five men form a secret coalition of sorts after a mysterious poker game. Now some have met a fate that makes rumors of an ancient curse seem more likely by the minute. And in the middle of it all – and trying desperately to get up to speed on the whole situation – stands Matthew Shane, former military intelligence and current law professor. He is on a personal mission to uncover the truth behind the mysterious deaths, an even more mysterious legend, and perhaps the biggest mystery of all – who is pulling the strings. His quest takes him to exotic destinations, though he certainly can’t relax enough to take in the sights nor can he shake the feeling that his every move is being watched. I really liked Matthew – he seems to be a man of integrity and I’m always rooting for characters like that! Kwame was another favorite of mine, as well as two secretive characters that end up playing an important role in Matthew’s present and his future.

Bottom Line: Deadly Depths by John F. Dobbyn is a high-stakes race against unseen forces (maybe human, maybe supernatural – that’s part of the mystery) to unearth secrets and maybe great treasure on an archaeological adventure that Harrison Ford would easily get behind. It’s well-plotted with layered characters and explores intriguing questions of exploitation and greed. Some of the historical explanations and the diary entries made the book lag in places, in my opinion, but overall I couldn’t put it down. I had to know how it would all play out, and I would definitely read a book with these characters again. This book will definitely appeal to fans of Indiana Jones, Dan Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, and The Monkey’s Paw.

Reviewer’s Note: Readers of my reviews may want to be aware that there is a moderate amount of mild cursing throughout this book.

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)

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Please check into my opinions and suggestions for the publisher.

This needs another round of review before it's even legible. I had to DNF.

I would be very interested in trying to read this again once it's further reviewed because the premise of this book is SUPER intriguing. The writing just isn't there yet.

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Deadly Depths
Matthew Shane #1
John F. Dobbyn

Dobbyn’s first in a new series is a non-stop sophisticated adventure thriller that introduces readers to Law Professor Matthew Shane. Matthew’s expertise in the courtroom and the classroom make him an excellent sleuth and more important he’s an honorable man, a modest yet complex character noble with a dogged determination who goes against impossible odds to learn what happened to his friend and mentor. The novel is fast paced with a plot that’s an engaging story inside a story about a priceless treasure, the backdrops are unbelievably awe-inspiring and features an eclectic collection of unforgettable characters both good and evil. Fans of crime dramas and action-adventure fiction and authors like Nelson DeMille, Michael Connelly and David Baldacci will have a hard time putting this novel down, plus readers will be left wondering what’s in store for Matthew in future reads.

Law Professor Matthew Shane is enjoying his summer break when word reaches him that his mentor and father figure renown archeologist and fellow professor Barry Holmes has been found dead in his campus office. The police rule it a suicide, but things don’t add up for Matt especially after talking to his friend’s wife Mary and learns of a recent secret crusade with a group of Barry’s cronies and leaves promising Mary to get to the truth. As Matt digs deeper into this group and their expedition the body count grows and he crosses paths with a wealthy and very connected Frenchman who he’s yet to decide is friend or foe and is left with more questions than answers.

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I so wanted to like this ! It had such an interesting premise but for the most part it felt like a so so at best action movie . I found the writing was fairly simplistic and very repetitive . I’m sure there’s an audience out there for this but it was definitely not me 😞

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Deadly Depths by John Dobbyn #fiftysecondbookof2023 #arc

CW: death, murder, abduction, pirates, assault

This book is for fans of Dan Brown or National Treasure or hidden historical puzzles. I’m into all of those things, so I was really into this book. Our main character Matthew Shane learns that his mentor, professor and archeologist Barrington Holmes, has died, and he doesn’t believe everything is as it seems. This leads him to a group of treasure hunters called the Monkey’s Paw Society and his search for the truth, and buried treasure, begins.

This book was right up my alley, and I enjoyed the puzzles, the twists and turns, the not knowing who you can trust, and the treasure hunting of it all. Also, there’s a book within a book! You get to read the diary of an old pirate. The only thing that felt forced was the romance that seemed tacked on at the very end. (Since this was an arc, I noticed a few editorial errors in characters names, but it was easy to know who should have been reflected, and I’m assuming they were corrected in the finished copy.)

I don’t like calling things guilty pleasures—if you like something, own it. So I’ll admit, I kind of loved this book. I would absolutely watch a movie of it, and I would read another starring the main character.

Thank you to @netgalley and @oceanviewpub for the advance copy. (Available now, Pub date was 8/1/23)

#deadlydepths #matthewshane #buriedtreasure #bookwithinabook

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The contemporary part of this novel is framed in historical information about Caribbean slavery and English pirates. Mathew's investigation into the murder of his friend reveals much information about the Aztecs, their history and the practices of a remnant, including curses. Halfway through the novel we encounter a lengthy journal revealing the experiences of a sailor with Captain Henry Morgan, English pirate in the 17th century. That interlude was interesting but did slow down the momentum of the novel.

This is a good archaeological mystery set in intriguing locations. It is quite informative as well as entertaining. Dobbyn's writing style is clear and a pleasure to read. It seems Mathew may be up for more dangerous adventures so I'll be watching for them.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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DEADLY DEPTHS by John F. Dobbyn is an edge-of-your-seat treasure hunt thriller and intricate crime mystery mash-up novel that kept me turning the pages well into the night. This is a standalone novel that is a great mystery/thriller read and while the author is new to me, he does have other published books I will be checking out in the future.

Law professor Matthew Shane also has a love of archeology from his mentor, well known archeologist, Professor Barrington Holmes. Holmes is found dead at his office desk, and it is determined a suicide, but Matthew knows his mentor would never commit suicide.

His search for the truth leads him to a group of five archeologists, including the deceased Barrington, that call themselves “The Monkey’s Paw”. They were entangled in a mysterious expedition and since their return, they are being killed one by one.

Joining forces with the remaining members of “The Monkey’s Paw” and the help of an enigmatic Turkish antiquities dealer in France, Matthew is on a worldwide chase that may cost him his life, too.

I really loved this story. It is full of surprise twists, red herrings, and treachery. Matthew is determined to discover the truth, no matter the peril. He is an honorable, adventurous, and strong protagonist that is easy to cheer for throughout the hunt. The history of the Aztec artifact everyone wants, and the history of the Maroons of Jamaica were both interesting and well positioned throughout the plot to never interfere with the pace. The plot is well paced, fast and seldom lets up even when the plot goes back in time to the diary of a Welsh privateer. The climax was intense, and it leads to a very satisfying conclusion to both the mystery and the treasure hunt.

I highly recommend this high intensity action-adventure mystery/thriller!

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This is the kind of book that has a bit of everything - pirates, voodoo, and ancient Aztecs the least of it - and so it's hard to categorize beyond freaking awesome. It's an incredibly compelling read that pulls you in and doesn't let go even after the story's done. I turned the last page and spent a few minutes wishing there was more.
It's not just the character of Matthew Shane that kept my interest, it's everyone he interacts with and the varied motivations. It's a wild ride that sometimes felt like Dobbyn was trying to see what else he could get away with adding, only everything worked in a weird and magical way.
I do kind of wish there was more depth to it, but the testosterone-fueled adventure side of it was a joy of entertainment. It's not something that you're going to read for the slow and methodical study of a case. Come into it expecting a high-octane adventure on par with a summer blockbuster and you'll walk away delighted.

Very happy thanks to NetGalley and Oceanview Publishing for the compelling read!

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A group of Archeologists is given a chance to find an ancient treasure that is involved in a lot of mystery, voodoo, trips around the world, and corpses, quite a few of them until the mystery is solved and the culprit found. The story goes deep into the past and recounts the story of a boy who wanted to be a sailor and gets involved with pirates, looting, and treasures beyond his belief and then it comes to the present time with numerous descriptions of places, meals, and beverages. I believed the story would be more mysterious but it's more of a cozy mystery.
I thank the author, his publisher, and NetGalley for this ARC.

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