I am a serious boat person and love crime fiction so this book had me intrigued from the start. John J. Cannon is an average Joe, an attorney, trying to escape the stress of the Courtroom and office, when he heads to the Texas coast and buys a yacht from a broker who is not entirely on the up and up with him. She ends up dead. Poor John, absorbed with minutia and afflicted with OCD, gets sucked into the middle of a criminal catastrophe. There is one dilemma after another placed in front of him.
This is only the second book I have read that is written in present tense, so it took some adjustment. It is also written in first person, which I felt allowed me to get really close to the protagonist. He’s an endearing fellow who tries to make all that’s going wrong right, trying to save both his boat and innocent people from a group of terrorists. There is subtle humor tucked into every chapter. The story takes us through some crazy situations that John never expected he would have to face and is ill equipped to handle alone.
Enter Ned, the Chief of Police, and Jason, who incidentally becomes a sailing companion. Teased by action throughout the book, the intensity at the climax had me biting my nails. Howell does an excellent job creating characters and scenarios we can care about. You can’t help but become invested in the outcomes. The suspense is also as thrilling as one would expect. I would be remiss not to mention both the line and copy editing could have been tighter before publication. That issue aside, it is a most enjoyable debut crime novel. I look forward to future works by this author.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!