Off the coast of Cape Cod, a Japanese bluefin tuna buyer is found dead on another man’s boat, a harpoon shot through his chest. The dead man’s grandfather, a Japanese fishing tycoon, seeks out part-time private investigator Aristotle “Soc” Socarides to find those responsible for his grandson’s death. Soc is desirable because he’s also a part-time fisherman; because the man also knows that Soc is deeply in need of funds to repair his dilapidated fishing boat, he knows Soc’ll ...
Off the coast of Cape Cod, a Japanese bluefin tuna buyer is found dead on another man’s boat, a harpoon shot through his chest. The dead man’s grandfather, a Japanese fishing tycoon, seeks out part-time private investigator Aristotle “Soc” Socarides to find those responsible for his grandson’s death. Soc is desirable because he’s also a part-time fisherman; because the man also knows that Soc is deeply in need of funds to repair his dilapidated fishing boat, he knows Soc’ll accept.
Soc can’t shake an uneasy feeling about the way the old Japanese man found him and the way he persuaded Soc to take the job: “It was almost as if he knew me better than I knew myself.” This realization should trigger a warning light in Soc’s head. Maybe it does. But now Soc is curious. And he still needs the money.
What starts out as a simple inquiry into a young man’s death to secure the peace of mind of an old man mushrooms into an excavation of the bluefin-fishing community. As Paul Kemprecos’s Shamus Award-winning p.i. is about to find out, it is a small, close-knit but competitive group, where the fact that a single tuna has a ten- to twenty-thousand-dollar price tag may inspire men to do evil.
My fiction-writing career owes it start to the bad navigation of an 18th century pirate. For it was in 1717 that a ship, the Whydah went aground, reportedly carrying a fabulous treasure. In the 1980s, three salvage groups went head-to-head, competing to find the wreck. The controversy over the salvage got hot at times and I thought there might be a book in their story. I was working for a newspaper at the time.
I developed my own detective, an ex-cop, diver, fisherman, and PI named Aristotle “Soc” Socarides. He was more philosophical than hard-boiled. Making his first appearance in “Cool Blue Tomb,” the book won the Shamus award for Best Paperback novel. After many years in the newspaper business, I turned to writing fiction and churned out five more books in the series.
Clive Cussler blurbed: “There can be no better mystery writer in America than Paul Kemprecos.”
Despite the accolades, the Soc series lingered in mid-list hell. By the time I finished my last book, I was thinking about another career that might make me more money, like working in a 7-11.
Several months after the release of “Bluefin Blues,” Clive called and said a spin-off from the Dirk Pitt series was in the works. It would be called the NUMA Files and he wondered if I would be interested in tackling the job.
I took on the writing of “Serpent” which brought into being Kurt Austin and the NUMA Special Assignments Team. Austin had some carry-over from Soc, and another team member, Paul Trout, had been born on Cape Cod. The book made The New York Times bestseller list, as did every one of seven NUMA Files that followed, including “Polar Shift,” which bumped “The DaVinci Code” for first place.
After eight NUMA Files I went back to writing solo. I wrote an adventure book entitled, The Emerald Scepter, which introduced a new hero, Matinicus “Matt” Hawkins. I have been working on the re-release of my Soc series in digital and print, and in 2013, responding to numerous requests, I brought Soc back again in a seventh Socarides book entitled, Grey Lady. My wife Christi and I live on Cape Cod where she works as a financial advisor. We live in a circa 1865 farmhouse with two cats. We have three children and seven granddaughters.
To learn more about Paul Kemprecos, check out his website at