Sandraker is the third in the San Applewhite series by Heide Goody and Iain Grant. This time Sam’s job with DefCon4 leads her to reset alarms at Candlebroke Hall following an attempted burglary.
As with all of Sam’s encounters, very little is as simple as it seems. Sam, Marvin, and Delia return to fight for their young friend Hilde Odinson and prove her innocence. The only things in the way are Sam and Doug Jr’s drunken escapades, windmills and garden gnomes, creepy psychics, face-eating tigers, desperate former movie stars, fiery karma-loving tattoo artists, the shady black market of eBay, transporting Viking longships, viral videos and social media campaigns, and bee beards. Just another day in Skegness.
The authors have found their footing in these last two entries in the series as it relates to story-telling style and the weight of the story.
The first book, Sealfinger, was a great read using dual viewpoints with a darker tone compared to the other two books.
The second book, Doggerland, as well as this book, used multiple viewpoints with a lighter tone while engaging the reader with deeper questions.
Doggerland presented ethical questions of where is “too far” in righting a wrong. Sandraker asks what is one’s source of happiness and what is one willing to do to achieve happiness? What does one do after the spotlight fades and the daily grind turns into days of no schedules?
I really enjoyed the lovely friendship blossoming between a new character and Sam’s dad, the beloved Marvin Applewhite, which led to amusing attempts by another to sweep Sam off her feet. A lady loves a man with a porn mustache in shiny, bright colored garb with a touch of curly chest hair who wants to order for her. Right?
The entire trilogy is a great escape. One of the things I enjoy is not requiring a romantic life for Sam. There is a realistic nod to others wanting to set their single friends up on dates. And it’s fun to read of dates gone wrong (who hasn’t had those!?). But her romantic life isn’t the focus, nor does it seem to be important to Sam. It gives room to focus on the mystery and to further flesh out the other essential characters without a messy side story.
My favorite part of each book is having the viewpoint of new people. Personally, I’m fascinated by people and how they think. I want to know more about who the heroine encounters. I’m often disappointed if they aren’t carried into the next book as one of the multiple viewpoints.
Sandraker is another fantastic read for adults that provides a whimsical escape to Skegness, England, for a rousing scheme against the Saxon law and a revengeful old-fashioned food fight that will leave readers breathing a sigh of relief for Doug, Jr. and chuckling beyond the final page. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a powder puff cactus before the next adventure starts.
Need more good reads? Check our reviews for other books.
Sealfinger – Book 1 in the Sam Applewhite series
Doggerland – Book 2 in the Sam Applewhite series