Review: Girl under Water (Charlotte Winters #2) by L. T. Vargus and Tim McBain

When Gloria Carmichael’s body is found broken and bleeding on the sidewalk just days after knocking on Detective Charlie Winters’ door begging for help to locate her father’s will, Charlie’s instinct is confirmed: her latest case is about more than just a simple family feud.

The Carmichaels are famous in Salem Island for their large family and charitable work, but, moments before she died, beautiful, trustworthy eldest daughter Gloria called Charlie to say she had uncovered a terrible secret that would break the mystery of her father’s death wide open.

With the voice of her murdered sister ringing in her ears—pushing her to risk everything to bring justice to the innocent—Charlie takes matters into her own hands. She won’t let another family break apart like her own, and she knows the answers she needs are hidden somewhere inside the Carmichael home.


Girl under Water is the second book in the Private Investigator Charlotte Winters series. It begins with a chilling prologue that ends with the murder of a business mogul in his mansion. The seemingly obvious motive for the murder is money or perhaps greed…or both. With 5 children and a mistress set to benefit from an inheritance, there are plenty of suspects. The pool of suspects further widens with the reveal of more secrets about the Dutch’s life.

Once again, I had a great time following Charlotte as she investigated the case with her sister, Allie, who actually lives in her head. I was so curious about the Dutch’s death and couldn’t stop changing my mind about the suspects. The reveal was a shock because the baddie turned to be the one person who I never suspected. In addition, the answers were not as straightforward, there was a lot more going on that I never could have guessed.

My only little niggle with this series is the role that the PI plays. You know those action movies where the hero saves the day and just as dust settles, we hear the sirens and suddenly the police arrive? I had a hard time trying to figure out what the police were doing as they seemed always a step behind the PI. At some point, they even let her chase new leads and only ask to be kept updated. They also relied on her to get them answers. This dynamic is a bit odd for me. However, it still doesn’t take away my love for this series.

This is a captivating, well-paced, entertaining addition to the series. With a likeable MC, twisted case, family secrets and a large suspect pool, I was hooked from the first to the last page.