EBook Review – Bad Water – Toni Dwiggins

This wasn’t the usual kind of book that I woul read, however I did enjoy Bad Water. It is well written and edited, with a well polished air about it, making it easy to read.  

The main charaters, Cassie and Walter are an unusual pairing of forensic geologists, and I enjoyed way the characters developed throughout the book giving you brief insights into their lives outside this case.  I did also learn a lot about the dangers of radiation and how it can be part of our existence without us necessarily knowing….Bad Water is a very secret and scary vision of what could be.


Razberry Rating:


It’s not what I’d consider a typical thriller, there is no edge of your seat stuff, but you are engaged throughout, and I was certainly eager to find out what the outcome would be and who exactly was involved.

I would award this book three stars, as whilst I did find it interesting to read, it was not overly gripping.


About the author….in her own words

I'm a third-generation Californian who migrated from southern Cal to northern Cal. What I like most about my state is that one can go from the ocean to the mountains in one day, with a lunch stop in the desert. I like it so much I've set my forensic geology books in those settings.

I'm author of a US History textbook, and have contributed to texts in the sciences. I've done tech-writing for the Silicon Valley computer industry, and that experience hatched an idea that became my first novel, about an attempt to sabotage the nation's telephone system.

I went in a different direction with the Forensic Geology Series, taking mystery into outdoor adventure and thriller territory.

From where do you get your inspirations for your characters and storylines in your books?

I love the outdoors, I’ve hiked and camped in Death Valley, and I always thought it would make a great setting for a story. I wanted a setting that was both enthralling and dangerous and Death Valley fit the bill. And then I learned that there used to be a radioactive waste dump on the perimeter of the National Park, and I had my theme for BADWATER.

My protagonists are forensic geologists, which means they examine earth evidence at crime scenes—and that takes them into the field and into danger. I like the dynamic of a young headstrong professional and her older, wiser mentor.

Cassie is age 29, attractive although not a major head-turner, smart (got to solve those crimes), strong in mind and body but not kick-ass (must survive threats, but believably), trusting and thus often vulnerable, dedicated to doing right but sometimes getting things wrong, prone to make a joke when things get tense, bit of a nerd.

Walter is age 60-ish, face like an eroding cliff, smart and occasionally wise, overcoming a small stroke and not as strong as he thinks (he thinks he’s kick-ass), loyal to a fault and thus often vulnerable, dedicated to doing right but sometimes getting things wrong and loathe to admit it, can’t make a joke to save his life but loves to laugh, too old to be called a nerd.

Walter is partly based on a real-world forensic geologist, who was kind enough to show me around his lab and teach me the basics. He was working on a case of a murder victim found at a beach, and showed me how he could analyze a single grain of sand with the scanning electron microscope. All the while quoting William Blake’s “to see a world in a grain of sand.” Part scientist, part poet.

Cassie isn’t based on any real-life person. I might have saddled her with a few of my own vulnerabilities. 


What are your favourite books?

So many. Two jump to mind right now:

Bitterroot by James Lee Burke

Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith


What are the best and worst things about being a writer?

Best = creating a world and having readers want to live there for a short while. That absolutely floors me.

Worst = doubt. Wondering if I can create the world on the page that I see in my mind.


Tell us a little bit about your books, who they are aimed at, and where people can buy them?

The books are a bit of a hybrid—part mystery, part thriller, part adventure. Much of the action takes place in the outdoors, with a strong environmental theme. A reader who likes that mix might enjoy the ride.

Currently, the books are exclusive to Amazon, in both ebook and paperback formats. Badwater is also available as an audiobook.







Useful Links

Website: Tonidwiggins.com


Twitter: @ToniDwiggins