Make room for another tall, good-looking skipper plying the south Florida waters off Lauderdale—this one a female, Seychelle (Sey) Sullivan, captain of the Gorda, a salvage tug she owns in partnership with her two brothers, Madagascar (Maddy) and Pitcairn (Pit). When Maddy badmouths her salvage skills so she’ll be forced to sell and he can use his share to pay off his gambling debts, Sey sails off to rescue the Top Ten, the distressed multimillion-dollar yacht piloted by her ex-lover Neal Garrett. Once aboard, she finds lap-dancer Patty Krix with a knife in her back, but no sign of Neal. Is he dead too, submerged somewhere in the New River? Back on land, where the cops anoint her the number-one suspect, Sey begins nosing around Patty’s workplace, slimeball snuff-film producer Benjamin Crystal’s strip club. Her queries lead her to Patty’s home, Harbor House, whose overly sincere director, James Long, couldn’t be more solicitous when a fellow tenant, ex-runaway Elysia Daggett, OD’s. Still another young girl will be endangered and Sey’s friendship with B.J., a Samoan boat mechanic, will blossom into romance before a watery confrontation at the site of the Bahama Belle wreck results in an epitaph for Neal, vindication for Sey, and a monetary bonanza for lucky beachcombers.
A few too many quirky sidekicks and cutesy family names, but first-timer Kling is surefooted whenever she’s on deck or navigating Route A1A.