An ocean thriller brings a family clinging to lost affluence into the path of a drug warlord.
From the first page, readers know that a merciless drug warlord is involved, but the family party, on a last yachting jaunt from San Francisco to Honolulu, is caught up in in its own worries. Leonard and Claudette have been living the high life, but their daughter, Susannah, and her cousin, Martin, know that the money is gone. Deck hand Axel is eye candy but also an opportunist looking for a break. When their luxury boat, Athena’s Secret, crosses paths with the speedier Witch Grass, they find a fortune in cash, plus two dead guys: in other words, trouble. They commence a lackadaisical hunt for salvage that turns the voyage into more than a goodbye to a way of life—it could be a goodbye to life itself. Cadnum takes threatening weather, a shark, a lost dog and guns galore and turns them into a nightmare scenario. Then, unfortunately, he simply abandons the thriller formula as bad guys and demoralized family come face to face in an ending more whimper than bang. Psychological elements stemming from the relationships between those on the wrong and (supposedly) the right side of the law are introduced early on, but the author lets much of that simply fade.
A seafaring adventure with all the elements of a great puzzle but the solution. (Thriller. 12-16)