Currents of Deceit

Mystery & Thrillers

By Ronald Perkins

Publisher : Ronald D. Perkins

Currents of Deceit

ABOUT Ronald Perkins

Ronald Perkins
Dr. Perkins received his undergraduate degree in geology from the University of Cincinnati and his graduate degrees from the University of New Mexico and Indiana University. Following graduation, he joined Shell Oil Company’s research group in Coral Gables, Florida, studying modern marin More...



On April 20, 2010 the infamous BP oil rig exploded spilling millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Images of iridescent oil slicks dominated national and international news for weeks. However, such visible spills are not the only threat to our oceans. Even more harmful toxic substances can be dumped without detection into the marine environment by purposeful or inadvertent actions of companies seeking to minimize governmental oversight and maximize profit. 

Currents of Deceit is a mystery - thriller that begins in Key West, Florida, where Scott Simmons, a fisheries biologist and his girlfriend, Linda Stevens, a biochemistry graduate student, discover abnormally high levels of PCBs and mercury in fish collected from the local market. Before sounding any alarm, they attempt to find the source of the toxins. They suspect that the toxins may be emanating from an isolated southern Caribbean island and carried northward by ocean currents that merge with the Gulf Stream. They enlist the help of a retired professor of marine geology, Dr. Charles Alexander (Dr. A.), who had done extensive work in the Caribbean. 

Dr. Alexander relates his prior experience conducting research on the island with two of his graduate students. Unknown to them, their presence on the island had inadvertently interfered with the plans of an unscrupulous waste management company in collusion with corrupt government officials. Fearing that the scientists would interfere with their deceptive scheme involving millions of dollars, Dr. Alexander and his students were framed with trumped up charges and imprisoned after a failed attempt to murder them.  After approval of the project, deceptively disguised as an oil storage facility, and satisfied that they were no longer a threat, Dr. A and his students were released from prison and expelled from the island.

Now, years later, Dr. Alexander convinces Scott to return to the island with him to see what they could learn since he had been there. How had the island changed? Could they learn the real reason that he and his students had been expelled? Could they find any evidence of a toxic source?  If so, how serious a problem was there? Could they determine who was responsible? Could those responsible be brought to justice? Did their presence pose a threat to anyone? Were their lives in danger? 

There are many twists, turns and surprising developments as the story unfolds before these questions are answered. Could such an environmental disaster actually happen? Perhaps it already has.



Ronald D. Perkins is a Professor Emeritus of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University. Dr. Perkins has conducted extensive research in South Florida, the Bahamas, and the British West Indies and has participated in numerous field trips for students and industry to examine modern marine sedimentary environments. His extensive experience diving and conducting research throughout the Caribbean provided the background for this, his first novel.