by William D. & Carl Hiassen Montalbano ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 1, 1982
When somebody sabotages the trap lines of Key West crawfisherman Breeze Albury, poor Breeze--middle-aged, devoted to son Ricky (a promising baseball player), happy with girlfriend Laurie--is once again forced to do a job for the drug-business ""Machine"": with helper Jimmy (who needs cash for his young wife's abortion), Breeze agrees to do a single drug-run with his 43-foot boat, the Diamond Cutter. The mission turns out to be a set-up, however--and Breeze winds up in jail. Why did the Machine arrange for their own drug-run to be spotted by the law? Because they want to force Breeze to undertake a far more dangerous run: they'll get him out of jail . . . if he'll bring 20 illegal Colombian refugees in from a ""stash island"" off Andros. (The Machine owes some Colombian dealer a big favor.) So off goes Breeze, with Jimmy and Cuban pal Augie, and, not unexpectedly, the trip turns into a nightmare: the Colombians are ruthless, desperate, superstitious; there are deaths during the turbulent boarding and the chaotic voyage; the eventual landing is a bloody disaster--with only half of the expected refugees arriving. Thus, the Machine must now kill Breeze . . . who is ready to fight back--by hijacking a huge load of the Machine's drugs; son Ricky will get his pitching arm broken by a Machine underling; Breeze will take the final revenge. And meanwhile, back on shore, Breeze's girlfriend Laurie is getting involved in local politics--befriending (and eventually bedding) a gay-fights activist, helping him to take revenge on a bigoted sheriff. This subplot--and another one about the evil doings of a local lawyer--are only half-successfully interwoven with the central, visceral plot here (a few too many coincidences and sudden romances are needed to tie up all the threads). But the at-sea action is gritty and varied, Breeze is a modestly engaging beleaguered-hero, and this is sturdy melodrama entertainment overall from the authors of last year's Powder Burn.
Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1982
Page Count: -
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1982
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