As a hurricane rages, a treasure hunter searches Key West for a cache of drug money tied to his father in this seventh installment of a series.
Though it’s been nearly a decade since his parents’ deaths, Buck Reilly is just now going through their personal effects. He makes a startling discovery: Based on names and places his father, Charles B. Reilly Jr., had documented, Buck surmises he may have been a drug smuggler years before working for the State Department. Charlie had two partners: Frank Graves, who did a 20-year prison stint, and Tommy Diaz, who was murdered by the Medellín cartel. Buck hopes to shed light on his dad’s past by talking to Graves’ ex-wife, Eleanor, and Diaz’s daughter, Jade. They are both in Key West, where Buck also resides. But it turns out an unusual sketch among Charlie’s effects is part of a map to the partners’ drug fortune—and Jade has the other half. The two decide to work together despite the destructive path Hurricane Irma is taking toward Key West. So as locals wisely evacuate, Buck and Jade hunt for hidden cash. But they aren’t the only ones looking, and greed soon ignites a string of potentially lethal double crosses. From the start, Cunningham (Free Fall to Black, 2017, etc.) establishes the story’s uneasy atmosphere as Buck hears reports of ongoing hurricanes. Frequent details on the heavy rain and wind are reminders of the impending storm. The tempest likewise sets an impressive pace, as Buck and Jade have little time before their search area is flooded. The author subtly develops characters as the story progresses; it’s apparent, for example, based on Jade’s behavior, that she’s naturally skeptical of others. Readers will likely guess a few plot turns, but that doesn’t dilute the ever present threat of the hurricane. As in preceding novels, Buck is an admirable protagonist, a man who doesn’t hesitate to tighten the lines of someone else’s secured plane despite increasingly perilous weather.
A fresh, snappy, and exhilarating adventure with a recurring hero.