DEEP BLUE SALOON by Thomas Courtney Click

DEEP BLUE SALOON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Raised by the Texas Mafia and addicted to the nitrogen high of deep-sea diving, a hired gun struggles to escape his past and start anew.

Once a quiet wonder just off Mexico’s Caribbean coast, the island of Chinchamos now buzzes with high-end restaurants, tacky gift shops, and tourists ferried over from the mainland. If local mobster Omar Luna has his way, there’ll be even more. Hoping to funnel tourists to his other ventures on Chinchamos, he’s begun construction on a pier that would allow cruise ships to dock directly on the island. But a contingent of local environmentalists stands in his way, refusing to sell him their land. All the while, Branch Curry has been working undercover for Luna, whose ties run back to Texas organized crime and, ultimately, Curry’s father. Growing more and more apprehensive of his work, Curry agrees to help his voluptuous girlfriend, Valerie, and her blackmailer Fernando rob Luna of his spoils. Curry wants to cut his ties with organized crime and start anew. “Something out there that scares you,” Valerie tells him. “And it’s getting closer every day. Time to cash out and go, Branch.” The novel kicks off with a gripping underwater cave dive and rarely lets up, the pages crammed with hit jobs, nitrogen narcosis, and sex—lots of sex. “She set her drink down and pulled the straps of the minidress off her shoulders. Then she led his lips down to her breasts while unbuckling his belt and tugging at his silk trousers.” Though a swift and thrilling read, it often succumbs to one-dimensional displays of women and stereotypical depictions of the villain: “Omar Luna gazed out the rear passenger window of the black Escalade as it rumbled away from his mansion in Chinchamos North Country Club.” Nevertheless, these are minor transgressions, especially given the book’s pulpy intent. At times, the large cast becomes difficult to keep track of, but the story ultimately succeeds in creating a world rich in violence and booty.

A high-stakes Caribbean thriller, fueled by sex, drugs, and deep-sea dives.

Pub Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Manuscript
Program: Kirkus Indie
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