A stormy, aptly named thriller set in the Caribbean of the near future.
“Destruction brewed in the far-off trade winds,” writes the narrator, who spent his early years in Grenada and the Virgin Islands. In this story, hurricanes are rated up to Category 6, yet humans threaten to do even more damage than nature. Prudence “Roo” Jones is a former operative of the Caribbean Intelligence Group who now wants simply to enjoy sailing his catamaran, Spitfire II, and dodge an approaching hurricane. He thinks he has “left all that spy shit behind.” Then a friend and a relative die, a package arrives, and Roo is up to his dreadlocks in trouble. A mysterious woman named Kit claims to be the sister of Roo’s dead friend Zee, and a company named Beauchamp Industries may prove a bigger threat than the worst of storms. There are terrific action scenes with flying debris, falling bodies, poisoned projectiles and tattooed neo-Nazis. Roo (don’t call him Prudence) is a tough gent who can take seemingly endless physical abuse and never look like a victim. Violence is present, of course, but it's never excessive or gory. The stakes are higher than one might expect, and even the specter of racism comes into play. Buckell has written a smart and well-constructed tale that’s filled with excitement and the flavor of the Caribbean isles. The only nit is the prominence of Aves Island, a rock squabbled over by Venezuela and Barbados that in reality barely peeks out of the ocean but in the story hosts skyscrapers and a harbor patrol. But any reviewer who points that out is just reaching for something to criticize.
So don’t wait for a dark and stormy night to read this novel; you'll have plenty of fun.