A travel writer discovers a drug-smuggling ring in Jamaica, with murder on the side.
Thirtysomething journalist/photographer Lucy Ripken finds the usual suspects on a press-junket plane bound for a new Jamaican resort. Brash editor Mickey Wolf plays den mother, filling Lucy in on the folks she doesn’t know, beginning with chic, imperious Louise Rousseau and half-Lebanese Jackson Hababi, who runs the hotel they’ll be staying at as well as many others in the FunClubs chain. Prickly, prissy Angus Wilson is easily the most disliked of the group. At the other end of the spectrum is perky Allie Margolis, fresh out of Bennington College. On the first day of her stay, Lucy clicks with handsome windsurfing instructor Desmond and discovers Naked Beach, peopled unfortunately by some of the more unattractive members of the junket. The next day brings an even grimmer discovery: the body of Angus Wilson, floating in shallow water. Lucy, close at hand when Allie finds the corpse, helps calm her down while she snaps photos. The death is ruled an accident, but Lucy’s not so sure. In any case, it’s fodder for a great story. Her probing and picture-snapping uncover a cache of illegal drugs and point to murder.
Travel writer Henderson’s series kickoff shows promise—a terrific premise, great local color and an appealing cast—but the prose is flat.