A Deadly Exchange
by Sheryl Jane Stafford
Category: Fiction / Mystery
353 pages; ISBN: 0-595-15677-0
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Shirley A. Roe
Have you ever wanted to quit your job, buy a boat and sail away to a romantic paradise? That is exactly what our female heroine, Alex and her ex-POW husband, Matt have done in this suspense filled story. Perhaps it is not the stuff that dreams are made of after all.
As the Amani sits docked awaiting its first voyage with the Spencers, two Bahamian drug dealers mistakenly hide a large quantity of cocaine in the hanging locker. The cocaine was supposed to be fiber glassed into the sister ship Amour, however our careless drug dealers have made a terrible mistake.
Discovering their error, the two thugs follow Alex and Matt on their maiden voyage with the intent of recovering the drugs and returning them to the Columbian Drug Lord. Unbeknownst to them the DEA is keeping watch on the drug dealers while they are following the Spencers.
After being approached by two suspicious Bahamians claiming to be Conch fishermen, a curious Matt starts inspecting the boat. He discovers the drugs and decides to bury them on a nearby island. It is his intention to trade the drugs for their safety. However while he is onshore, Alex is abducted and taken to the drug lord. Matt is left alone and wondering where they have taken Alex and how he will get her back. Now he must trade the drugs for his wife.
Author Sheryl Stafford shows her literary expertise with flamboyant yet believable characters, skillful scene descriptions and incredible action and suspense. The intriguing yet romantic plot takes several twists and turns revealing Alex’ confinement and Matt’s frustrating attempts to find her. The reader is made to feel their terror and frustration. After meticulous scene setting, the author brings matters to a close with compelling plot thrusts.
The author writes from first hand sailing experience, which provides authenticity to the intricate details of inclement weather, yachting, bone fishing, island hopping, and drug dealing. Ms. Stafford’s husband’s POW experience provides credence to the emotional makeup and tortured psyche of Matt Spencer.
This book is hard to put down as the reader is skillfully drawn into the drama. It is highly recommended by this reviewer. This author’s finely detailed thriller will stay with the reader for a long time.