A primer on the differences between salvage and towing in South Florida waters.
Seychelle (Sey) Sullivan, sole proprietor and captain of the little tug her dad left her, is sinking under insurance costs, rapacious salvagers who get to wrecks before she does and a lawsuit by a dissatisfied client/scam artist. So she’s happy to sail out of Fort Lauderdale for Key West to help her pal Nestor, newly hired captain of mega-rich Ted Berger’s fancy yacht, ferry it north for repairs. When the failure of the GPS system leads to Nestor’s death, his pregnant wife, Catalina, insists it was murder, not accident, and begs Sey to help. Sey is suspicious of Ocean Towing’s owner, Neville Pinder, who’s grown his business in a year from one little salvage boat to a fleet, each beating the Coast Guard to wrecks. Is someone jamming the yachts’ electronics, steering them onto reefs for the insurance? Sey keeps bumping into an old school friend, now a hunky charter-boat-owner, and an old-timer caring for his cancer-stricken wife. Meanwhile, she finds her house broken into, her car tampered with and her boyfriend B.J. spending hours with her bodacious friend Molly as they study midwifery.
Kling (Surface Tension, 2002, etc.) knows her way around Key West and its boats and nearby cays. She’s less sure-footed about dog ownership—her poor pooch would have ruptured kidneys if she left him alone like that—and building suspense around a ho-hum plot.