BLOOD ORANGE by Sam Llewellyn


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Here, Llewellyn (Sea Story, 1988: Dead Reckoning, not reviewed) focuses on the near-bankruptcy endemic in boat-racing circles--and on the lengths to which owners, sponsors, and middlemen will go to avert it. Did Ed Boniface cut anchor and sink his trimaran in order to collect the insurance? James Dixon, who was aboard, doubts it; and when Alan, who supposedly drowned when the boat went down, suddenly pops up on flitty wheeler-dealer Terry Tanner's yacht, he gives chase. But by the time Dixon catches up, Alan is dead. Not long after, another another boat is wrecked; there are two murders; and Dixon's partner in his wood-importing business pressures him to buy him out. Meanwhile, there are races to be run, repairs to the mast to be made, bills to be paid, and a romance with Agnes to worry about--why, Dixon wonders, is she so often in the company of her ex-lover and his rival racer, Jean-Luc Jarre? Dixon accepts Dag Sillem's sponsorship, renames his boat, and sails off the Round the Isles race--which culminates in his almost getting drowned, before all the baddies are identified and it's off to the nearest brig. Polished work, balancing racing arcana with heroic derring-do. If Dick Francis ever decided to get his feet wet, he'd write like this. Clearly, this is just the beginning to a long career.

ISBN: 671-64660-5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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