A Trail if By Sea
The search for his son Joe, takes Perry Cropp to remote Haida Gwaii, the outer coast of British Columbia. He meets Sandie Fox, environmental journalist/ marine campaigner. She commandeers the search for Perry's missing teenager and attempts to lead him away from trail theories and towards a relationship. A Trail if By Sea is mystery, environmentalist adventure, and a romance. More
Perry Cropp focuses on finding his son Joe who is missing from his crew job on the Salmon Sally moored on the west coast of remote Haida Gwaii. Perry thinks his teenager,18 sidesteps an arranged marriage, one approved by Joe's mother Chie Tranh, a former immigrant to Canada after the Vietnam War. Will Perry find Joe before she ruins their son's life? Perry's ex suffered great loss during and after the long years of the Viet Nam war, which still rages in her head. Divorced Perry thought he'd have a quiet summer to regroup; instead, finding Joe has its levels of complications and roadblocks, despite the assistance of strangers.
When the body of a drowned oriental youth shows up in the morgue, Perry faces his worst fears and intensifies his search. When a commemorative coin arrives in the mail "In commemoration of US involvement in the Vietnam War" he contacts the sender Major Albus Brown,retired from service after the fall of Saigon. Perry learns that the major stayed on the resort ship in late July. The Queen Charlotte City RCMP officer Sergeant Sneade scratches his head at this Missing Person case, especially when Mal Morley, private investigator hired by the Major shows up to work the case.
Perry lives on a house boat while he's in Haida Gwaii. His neighbor is Sandie Fox who is an environmental journalist, or a "marine campaigner" as she says. She knows Joe from Victoria when she taught karate.She's slow to give Information, although she knows more abut Joe than the QCCRCMP. The new relationship has a rocky start but she agrees to help Perry find Joe. Her plan to visit fish farms in Broughton Strait soon includes Perry. Because Joe a no show in Haida Gwaii, he agrees to the trip. Romance is slow to unfurl: his focus is on his quest. Her nature is to roust out facts and the truth, and she's annoyed with Perry's trail of coins, a trail that leads nowhere. The fish farm plan falls flat; Perry fails as co-captain of the "Anna Lou".
Major Brown's interest in the Cropps is based on his own intercultural marriage to a Vietnamese woman. His wife and son died and Perry thinks the major is looking for a replacement family, his. Major Brown's interest in Chie Tranh, makes sense. She's like a panther or a tornado bearing down on your house.Perry is a bit of an oddball, but a compassionate, humorous man. The trail he recreates based on the appearance of commemorative coins, is the arc that connects the characters and binds the story. Perry is a US draft evader, divorced from a Vietnamese immigrant. Major Brown is a US army officer who served in Vietnam and now smitten with Chie Tranh, the fiesty mother of Joe. While he woos Joe's mother, the major hires a private detective Mal Morley to track down Joe in British Columbia. Unfortunately Major Brown dies shortly after his marriage to her. Chie has her retribution, and a vindictive Morley stays on the job, eventually telling all to Perry.
Meanwhile Joe continues to stay out of reach. When he does come back to Victoria there's an incident with his mother, who can not ease up on the wedding idea. Perry chases her out of Sandie's house and hurts himself ending up in the hospital. He thinks he's losing Sandie.
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