Thrills Aboard Sloop Anne B
When Maggie receives permission to board Hersh’s anchored sailboat, she’s partially undressed and he’s almost completely adrift. Shrouded in mystery, Maggie’s arrival soon invites danger and intrigue aboard — situations that excite skipper Hersh and reignite his days as an intelligence agent.
In Anne Bonny’s Wake, Dick Elam creates a tale of trickery and deception set in the 1980s, a time when secrets between conspirators needed conveyance via pay phones. The “War on Drugs” had been declared, but just as in reality, it is unclear which of the villains in this novel is the mastermind and which the pawn.
Elam’s experiences as a reporter, a sailboat racing skipper, a cruising skipper, and a Naval Reservist are on display in Anne Bonny’s Wake (the name refers to Hersh’s vessel, a 30-foot sloop-rigged sailboat named after a historical pirate, Anne Bonny). The characters are captivating and finely detailed, and yet Hersh’s background remains fuzzy while Maggie’s tales of how she came to be swimming in the creek are muddy.
The drug-dealing plot of the book is so twisty that I was never sure who was on which side, but that’s expected when reading the first book of a promised series. Anne Bonny’s Wake is a fun read that will appeal to sailors, thriller fans, and those who love their romance novels filled with both attraction and cartel-busting fisticuffs.
Read an excerpt from the book:
Anne Bonny’s Wake
By Dick Elam
(Excerpt from Chapter 26)
“You’ve got my attention, Maggie. Would you please tell me the real story?”
The light from the dock shone in her eyes. She didn’t blink more than usual. This woman, I thought, understands stage presence.
“Maggie, or whoever you are, I’ll tell you what I know, because we’re not going any farther under the present circumstances.”
Maggie shifted her facial muscles from drive to neutral. She looked over her shoulder toward the dock.
“I’ve also been watching,” I said. “There’s nobody there. We can talk.”
Maggie looked back, nodded agreement to my surveillance.
When our eyes met, I asked, “What’s your real name: Maggie or Margaret or Margarita? The criminal justice people I know in DC can’t find your name in their files.”
“You want my real name, huh? And, Hersh, if you were originally named Marquesa, wouldn’t you go to the courthouse and change your name to Maggie?”
“Okay, Maggie, if I did a public record search, would I find you under that name?”
“No, because I’m being protected so I can testify against the crim¬inal you call ‘Bear.’”
Maggie’s smile broadened. She laughed at me.
“Why don’t you wipe that stare off your face, Hersh? Close your mouth. You’ve dropped your jaw.”
My astonishment gave way to a bright smile.
“That’s better, Hersh. I love your happy look. Smile goes better with your red hair. Now, be kind enough to refill my drink, and mix yourself a Scotch. You look like you could use one. And if you mix the drinks, you won’t worry about me poisoning you.”