Actually better than the beginning makes it seem

Murder In Ocean Hall - Joe  Flood, Dave Newman

So this book is one of those books that is on one hand a little annoying, and on the other hand, highly enjoyable.

I had to give it two tries. But I am glad I did.

The hero is Thomas, a policeman, who is tasked to solve the murder of a famous discoverer of shipwrecks, who isn't Bob Ballard but might as well be. Because that was the reason I put it done the first time. Flood's figure is based on Ballard, to a degree (though the fictional character is total slimeball), and the shipwreck in question is called the Gigantic, but even the most stupid person has to know it's a reference to the Titanic. Undoubtedly, this is to avoid ill wishing Ballard, but at first read it was rather annoying (and if I am being honest, if I paid for the book I would have been upset. But I picked this up as a freebie).

Yet, if once you get past that chapter, you have a rather good mystery that also takes looks at the problems and issues that many neighborhoods, in many cities face. Thomas is an engaging character, and the supporting characters are wonderfully drawn. There is a romantic relationship between two adults who are close in age. Books are also used. While some of the problems that Thomas encounters may only be in DC, most of them are not (including the fleeing to the suburbs). The only off note on the other chapters was the last chapter regarding Denise; it felt off.

Still, I am very happy I gave it a second chance. I would also like read more about Thomas.