The Cruising Serial Killer is an interesting novel by Michael Don Fess. It takes place in the Caribbean, in Miami, and on cruise ships. The setting keeps changing as the characters move around. It is a murder mystery, a cyber-theft mystery, and a romance all rolled up into one exciting book. It was hard to put the book down once I got into it.
Forman Blocker was in San Juan. He had been here three weeks and it was time to leave. He goes to the pier and scouts the people leaving the cruise ship. He is looking for a single man who looks enough like himself to keep people from questioning his identity. He sees a man foregoing the shops and tours and getting into a taxi. The man fits his qualifications so he follows him to Paradise Beach Lounge. Here Forman approaches the man after he had tried to pick some girls up and failed. He commiserated with him and buys the man, who is Jay Bridges from Miami. While Jay goes to the restroom, Forman puts something in Jay’s drink. After Jay drinks it, he gets really drunk and sleepy. Forman offers to take Jay to a nearby motel where there is a really hot girl waiting. Jay passes out while in the car. Forman takes him to a secluded area, takes his clothes and identification and throws him off the cliff. Forman goes to the ship and easily gets on board. He now has clothes and money so he can enjoy his trip on the cruise ship. He can also find a girl to seduce.
Meanwhile, Walter Cromwell, President of Trans Ocean Cruise Line is concerned with the disappearance of several men on the cruises. All men are about the same age but have nothing else in common. He sets Ken Abney, his chief of security, to work beefing up security and trying to find the man killing all these men. He also hires Burt Holmes of South Florida Security to help find this man.
Forman enjoys himself on the ship and meets Salirah Branch, a paralegal in a law firm in Miami. He doesn’t manage to seduce her but spends some time in his presence. When he says he is a criminal, she doesn’t believe him but is just curious enough to look him up. She thinks he is Jay Bridges but is not sure he is the same person. However, he works in the same building as she does so she thinks he deserves an apology for her behavior towards him on the last date they had.
Meanwhile, Forman dresses as a crewmember and rushes off the ship supposedly following a passenger to dropped his IPad. Thus he manages to escape from the ship without leaving a trace.
In Puerto Rico, a couple is startled when they find a man coming out of a ravine. He wasn’t sure how long he had been out but did know his things were gone and he had to crawl out. He finds out the cruise ship has sailed. They contact the US Embassy for help. They are startled to find him alive and on the ship at the same time and begin to look into it.
Salirah goes to apologize to Jay and finds out he isn’t the man on the ship. She finds he is on his way home but has been reported missing off the cruise ship. Although he isn’t the man she knew as Jay Bridges, she is still attracted to him and he to her.
As the FBI is called in and they begin to investigate the worst serial killer in history, the detectives follow the leads across the islands in the Caribbean. Will they catch this guy before he kills again? Will they find him before he realizes he has all the information on all of Jay’s clients along with access to their accounts? Will Forman be able to find someone to help him transfer money from Jay’s clients’ accounts?
It is an exciting and fast –paced book which keeps your attention. I strongly recommend this book.
(reviewed the day of purchase)