On The Surface, everything is peaceful… what is lurking underneath?

On The Surface, everything is peaceful… what is lurking underneath?

On the Surface is a thriller in sea, with a lot of sharks circling for blood. Sailing with the Foxes is a Youtube channel featuring Sawyer Stone III and Dani Fox, a young couple who call themselves cruisers. Cruises are people who spend their time circumnavigating the globe via boats. They appear happy, anchoring in Exuma to have a party with other cruisers there. People would stop to replenish supplies before sailing off towards another destination, life as a cruiser is unpredictable, just like cryptocurrency. The book by Rachel McGuire is coming out in July 2024, and I got this from Netgalley.

Why? The synopsis hooked me in.

The Storm Starts

It does not start with Sawyer and Dani, instead it started with a murder of Emily Standish. Then the story pans two years later to Sawyer Stone III and Dani Fox. The first chapter only refers to a man Emily calls ‘My Husband’, but an experienced reader knows that the event is there for a reason. Who is “my husband”? We will have to shelf that for later, but I am already hooked, despite not liking this pair at all. I am invested in this worm.

I smell trouble. Dani is happy about her channel hitting monetization marks, while Sawyer laments his money getting stuck in cryptocurrency. At the party in Exuma, I met more people. More men, which muddies the water a bit. The happy and light atmosphere has a tinge of tension. Below the surface, something bad is going on, and on it, it is peaceful.

Trouble Starts with A Disappearance

A foreshadowing later, Dani Fox disappears. Naturally, Sawyer becomes prime suspect. The seeds of suspicion grow out of hand, making the job of officers difficult. What is worse, tainted by cyber sleuths who fancy themselves better detectives than trained officers. On The Surface becomes an ocean circus with sharks circling and attacking any poor fish that dares to peek out. Then we get to the bottom of things.

If you are a fan of thrillers, you will appreciate the number of red herrings the author has to throw in to misdirect you. You not only get different motives from different people to complicate matters. But also the struggle of law enforcement to investigate in a fair manner. From the cast off of the story, the journey of Sawyer and Dani has been exciting and unpredictable.


I appreciate books that deliver thrills and chills, because it is difficult to have all the pieces align and then lead you on some wild barracuda chase. The characters stayed true to themselves from start to finish, which is pretty amazing for a thriller. While I am not surprised at the outcome, I was a little sad about the ending. Yes, you get your answers. Perhaps you want more like me, but I have to be content with the ending as the story sails off to a different location.

If you are a thriller person, On The Surface will not disappoint.

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