WITCHLINE by Noah Webster


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Again, Webster's marine investigator Andrew Laird--here with a case that takes him to the Channel Island of Jersey. The Witchline fleet, based on the island and owned by Mehran Holdings, has been paid millions in claims by Andrew's employer, Clanmore Alliance, for the wreck two years ago of the Rosewitch. Now, washing machines from that supposedly lost cargo are being sold in Spain, and Andrew's on Jersey getting to know the Mehran family. What he finds doesn't took too kosher: cousins Diane and Paul Mehran run the company, along with Paul's sons--the absent Matt, and Simon, a short-fused, arrogant brat--accountant Ray Garris, and French partner Erich Roder. They're all deeply involved in the development of a fancy marina complex soon to open with a world-class boat race. Clanmore has hinted that they might sponsor big money prizes, and Andrew is a fawned-upon guest. But, meanwhile, he's sensing rumbling undercurrents--including the Mehrans obvious money shortage; the drowning of a small-time Southhampton crook after a Jersey visit; and, soon after Andrew's own arrival, the murders of struggling insurance-agent Chris Newgrange and Peter Frere, a brain-damaged drifter friendly with old Captain Jacob West, one of Andrew's island contacts. Above all, he senses something big and nasty in the works. It's there, all right--leading to more killings, some narrow escapes for the good guys, a neat helicopter chase, and, in the end, another successful case for Andrew. Slow to build but enhanced by local color and increasingly absorbing as it goes: another workmanlike addition to the long Bill Knox/Noah Webster list.

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 1988
Publisher: Doubleday