Tower 18 by Tony Bathey is a face slapper of a book. At Mission Beach, San Diego, California on December 5, 2001, a lifeguard named Mike Johnson watches as Cynthia Harden, a colleague, does something in the water that was not planned. Someone else was in the water, and her name was Marisol Escobar. To Mike, the events that followed had certainly been strange, but following characters over the previous five years is the only way to get to the bottom of those events.
It is easy to forget what happened in the beginning once the author gets the ball rolling five years earlier. Intending this as advice for readers, Mike Johnson and what he witnesses in the beginning should be paid particular attention to as a plot to unfairly get the unlikable Marisol Escobar promoted to sergeant can muddy that December day at Mission Beach in 2001. I call it a face slapper because the most likable character left me feeling like someone who received a liberal slapping. Tony Bathey’s construction of ocean heroes who are influenced by external powers, strong ambitions, destructive traits, and past experiences is exceptional.