"Mr. Visidi, you realize there is no credible account of a shark attack in the roughly 4,000 year-life of Lake Erie. There are no sharks in Lake Erie," pronounces Officer James Mylett of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Frankie Visidi has a slightly different point of view-that afternoon, his beloved black lab, Priscilla, was killed by a huge bull shark while they were swimming off his boat, anchored on Kelleys Island Shoal.
Director of the Museum of Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio, and Master Gardener, Susan Massimino has been called in by her police chief cousin to help identify the flowers present at the murder scene of William Krupp, a prominent local farmer.
Could the sudden presence of bull sharks (equally at home in fresh water or salt water) and the murder of Krupp be related?
Author John Hildebrandt knows his beloved Lake Erie. His descriptions and reflections of life in what's known as the "western basin," ring true. In a 40 year-long career with Cedar Point, retiring as general manager, he saw the lake every day. He knows the history, the plant and animal life, the weather, and especially the people who choose to live here.
At the center of the story is Paul Gutten, aka Z, a German-Swiss businessman who also directs an Eco-terrorist organization secretly funded by stolen Nazi gold, now hidden in a cave in Bavaria. Z is fascinated by sharks and believes their sudden presence in western Lake Erie will focus attention on Lake Erie and its many environmental problems. He secretly arranges for six adult bull sharks to be introduced to Lake Erie. The sharks, of course, will be sharks and they leave a trail of blood and death in and around the Lake Erie Islands. The standard refrain: "There are no sharks in Lake Erie" is stood on its head when several bull sharks attack a group of kayakers in plain view of tourists aboard the Jet Express ferry. The news goes world-wide.
Z and Susan move quickly toward romance until Susan discovers evidence that Z may well be the killer of William Krupp?
This story is constant action, moving from lake to farm and from Bavaria to Ohio. The characters are vivid and compelling. Sharks in Lake Erie is part thriller, part police procedural, part introduction to life on Lake Erie.
In the end, the sharks call the shots.
About the Author
Authors John and Marie Hildebrandt are uniquely qualified to tell the story of the shores and islands. John is a retired vice president and general manager of Cedar Point, the Sandusky amusement park and resort that first opened in 1870. He has spent 40 years in the tourism industry. Marie is a former news reporter for the Sandusky Register and a retired public official. For five years, she wrote the region's leading tourism publication.
TIM O'BRIEN received the 1979 National Book Award for Going After Cacciato. Among his other books are The Things They Carried, Pulitzer Finalist and a New York Times Book of the Century, and In the Lake of the Woods, winner of the James Fenimore Cooper Prize. He was awarded the Pritzker Literature Award for lifetime achievement in military writing in 2013.
Jennifer Wright is a columnist for the New York Observer and the New York Post, covering sex and dating. She was one of the founding editors of TheGloss.com, and her writing regularly appears in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Maxim. Her breakup cure is gin, reruns of 30 Rock, and historical biographies. She lives and loves in New York City.