Plot: An American Serviceman saves the life of a British counterpart in an unusual situation during their mutual service in Iraq in 2003. It is a deed performed in passing with neither having previous knowledge even of the other’s existence. The ‘saved’ Frankie Armstrong, overwhelmed with gratitude, tells the American, Joe Nelson ‘He owes him and to call whenever he is in need”. In March of 2017 he receives a call from Joe, now the owner of a boat yard in Naples, FL, opening with “And remember the very last thing you said to me when we last met?” Frankie responds with “I remember I said I owe you if that’s what you mean?” He is answered in the affirmative simply pressuring him to come to Florida to help him find his young nephew Billy Ray who, with his friend Jerry are treasure-seeking divers, but has disappeared without a trace. Frankie, after drifting rather aimlessly for some period of time, joins with army buddie Derek Barnes (Barnsie), to become co-founders of a security agency in GB. He seems to be financially secure, his much-loved wife Penny has just left him for another woman and he is contemplating suicide. The call actually provides an opportunity for him to reconsider. He travels to Florida, meets Joe and begins his search. It seems the nephew, besides diving, also is quite a Lothario and has absconded with the wife of a notoriously vicious and extremely wealthy mobster and is assumed to be somewhere in hiding. The tale continues from this point, gradually building to a satisfying climax with all loose strings gathered together.
Discussion: The author has set forth an interesting fictional take on some historical facts. The resulting plot rambles a bit but offers sufficient interesting aspects to make the reader want to continue through to the end. From this reviewer’s perspective it should be of greatest interest to those who enjoy plot-based stories. Again perhaps for this reader alone, the characters are not particularly well-developed and it is most difficult, at least for this reader, to develop much empathy with other than unfortunately rather distasteful ones for Joe for reasons with which the reader may or not concur. Additionally, judicious editing would present a more coherent tale with far less repetitive material. So, to reiterate, this is a very imaginatively developed story that once begun, begs to be finished.