Deep End

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Like its predecessors BLUE CHIPPER and SWEETWATER RANCH, Geoffrey Norman’s DEEP END features the private investigator Morgan Hunt. Reminiscent of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser, Hunt treasures the physical pursuits of manhood, does not waste words, and is unshakably loyal to those he respects or loves. Having spent time in prison for murder, and having earned his freedom and learned his profession with the help of Nat Semmes, an attorney, Hunt spends his time working for Semmes, eating with and making love to his girlfriend Jessie Beaudreaux, fishing and diving, and working on his house on a river in the Florida Panhandle.

DEEP END focuses first on the problems, then the disappearance, of Phil Garvey, with whom Hunt often goes scuba diving on Garvey’s boat. To save his diving business from an unscrupulous bank and to pay for the surgery on his son Rick’s head, Garvey takes on what appears to be a job diving for Spanish treasure in the Gulf. Before this, Hunt and Semmes have forced Frank Loftin, a self-serving attorney, to forgo bringing assault charges and a suit against Garvey, and also to pay him damages.

Garvey disappears on the diving job, which it turns out Loftin offered him. In searching for him, Hunt finds an airplane wreck at the bottom of the Gulf, with the murdered wife of a crooked banker in it and a case containing more than one million dollars in cash, bonds, and jewels.

Hunt goes to great lengths to track down...

(The entire section is 408 words.)