A swift and simple story of a burned-out detective, his war-hero brother, a small boat endurance race, a resilient woman, and a couple of bad guys. And chats with God and the Devil about fear, adversity, the meaning of life, and redemption. More
On paper, Detective Mike Kelly is as solid as a rock. Smart and aggressive, well-schooled in the art of “putting up and shutting up”, he has put in his time, proved his salt, and climbed the ladder of law enforcement until he finally earned the tough brass badge of an FBI Special Agent.
In real life however, he is a ball bearing one turn away from fission. Worn raw by bureaucracy and bullshit politics, he has returned to his roots as a local cop in Tampa. Drowning in a sea of mediocrity, he is flailing for something to give his life meaning. Distraught over the death of loved one, he is too often finding comfort in the bottom of a bottle and battling demons that come in the dark of the night.
As if getting by weren’t challenge enough, Mike has registered for the “Eco-Loco” small-boat endurance race from Tampa to the Florida Keys. Joined by his brother, a war hero recently returned from Afghanistan, they are capsized in Tampa bay on the very first night by a careless yachtsman. Even greater threats lay in their future, from dehydration and tropical storms, to the bull sharks, crocodiles, and pythons of the Thousand Islands of Florida’s southwest coast.
Still, in between the sarcasm and cutting banter of brothers, old bonds are renewed and provisional relief is found in these desperate straits. But the boat is simply too small, the wounds too deep, and the waves too big as the course seems destined for a sad ending.
And then one night, in the middle of a storm from hell, while Mike sits passed out at the tiller, a slight girl named Erin Shaw pulls herself into the boat as she is being swept out into the Gulf of Mexico. A marine mechanic who left the U.S. Navy with psychological scars of her own after surviving the bombing of the USS Cole, Erin is smart, independent, and nothing if not adaptable.
Having survived the Eco-Loco, Mike helps Erin start a small marina in Key Largo. The salt air starts to heal his wounds and the sun starts to show in the forecasts. But the events of their midnight encounter in the Gulf of Mexico have a long tail, and when the bad guys eventually show up, Mike must decide between the law and justice.
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