Dead Man's Bay [NOOK Book]

Overview


The first appearance of Barrett Raines in A Rock and a Hard Place added an intelligent and extraordinarily engaging black policeman to the short roster of leading Afro-American fictional detectives.

At the end of A Rock and a Hard Place, Raines is so torn by the conflicts he faced that he's gone into an emotional tailspin. While trying to save himself from depression Raines gets a new case. It involves the discovery of a mysterious ...
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Dead Man's Bay

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Overview


The first appearance of Barrett Raines in A Rock and a Hard Place added an intelligent and extraordinarily engaging black policeman to the short roster of leading Afro-American fictional detectives.

At the end of A Rock and a Hard Place, Raines is so torn by the conflicts he faced that he's gone into an emotional tailspin. While trying to save himself from depression Raines gets a new case. It involves the discovery of a mysterious stranger's body that strongly speaks of illicit dealings and Raines is pressed to follow a trail that takes him to an island so remote he can hardly find the way to it. There he encounters a situation that forces him to call upon his courage and his intelligence not only to solve the crime but to save his life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Barrett ("Bear") Raines is a singular presence in Florida law enforcement, one of the very few African-American detectives assigned to an elite FBI team that investigates white-collar and violent crime. But when his beautiful wife and twin sons leave him, Barrett flounders at work, alienating partner Cricket Bonet and infuriating Capt. Henry Altmiller, who confiscates Barrett's gun and banishes him to a desk. It seems that Barrett will languish in cop purgatory forever, until the mutilated body of fisherman Miles Beynon is discovered, and Altmiller needs someone to track down Brandon Ogilvie, Beynon's former partner in a drug-related armored-car heist. So Barrett and Bonet set off for Dead Man's Bay, "a Florida that doesn't have anything to do with Disney World," ruled by omniscient Irishwoman Esther Buchanan and her sexy mulatto daughter, Megan. Esther and the other rough-hewn island natives profess ignorance of Beynon and Ogilvie, until a disgruntled fisherman reveals that Beynon's regular visits coincided with the appearance of a suspicious big cruiser in Dead Man's Bay. Following Barrett's debut in A Rock and A Hard Place, Wimberley develops his hero into a notable character, by turns self-deluded and shrewd. But much of the stock supporting cast (a Bond-era Slavic assassin, an island girl parading in tank top and cutoffs, a bigoted white sheriff) behave predictably, in a steamy island setting that merely seems reheated. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
As his debut (A Rock and a Hard Place, 1999) ended, Agent Barrett Raines, of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, was in a bad way. The fade-in now finds him unimproved: separated from his adored wife Laura Anne, on the outs with his trusted partner Cricket, drinking too much, smoking too much, even blowing off his job, something he never imagined he'd do—and blaming it all on Laura Anne. If only she hadn't decamped to Deacon Beach, stranding him in Tallahassee—taking with her the twins, Barrett's total psychological support system—he'd still be making it. But Deacon Beach, Laura Anne insists, is Afro-friendly, while in Tallahassee diversity just means different shades of tan. Chained to a desk, career in limbo, Barrett's life appears stuck at dismal when an unexpectedly brutal murder and a few stolen millions spell opportunity, and before you know it, Barrett is tooling around remote Dead Man's Bay, surrounded by an endless assortment of thoroughly mendacious suspects who in one way or another make a new man of him. In due time, he catches his murderer, cracks his case, clicks again with Cricket, and wends his way home to a Laura Anne suddenly eager to play Penelope to his Ulysses. It's nice for Barrett, not so nice for the rest of us. There's loose plotting, weak writing, and as for Barrett's sleuthing, one of his suspects says it best: "Mr. Raines, for a detective you seem a slow man."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312275778
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/14/2000
  • Series: Detective Barrett Raines Mysteries , #2
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,185,768
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Darryl Wimberley is a native Floridian living with his family in Austin, Texas. Dead Man's Bay is the second in a Florida based narrative featuring homicide investigator Barrett Raines.
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Read an Excerpt


1.
Spring Break
It was early morning but already a rusted Ford Escort gathered lazy johns across the street from a downtown bar. Spanish moss hung limp as a washrag from the magnificent live oaks which routinely buckled Tallahassee’s sidewalks into uneven surfaces, like ice floes jammed in a fjord. The trees here, towering as they did, still failed to shade either the Ford or the No-Tell Bar & Grille which simmered across the way in what locals called French-town, a district segregated de facto if not de jure, shoeboxed into a strip mall with a bicycle shop, a greasy spoon and a 7-Eleven.
COME IN a neon sign buzzed like an outsized mosquito. IT’S KOOL INSIDE.
“God.”
A black man slouched at a plywood counter next to the bar’s plate glass window. Rode hard and put away wet, you might say, a can of Budweiser sweating inside his fist like a whore in church.
“Damn, it’s sticky.”
He was generally known to regulars as the Bear. He was heavy in the shoulders, like a bear. Big humps above the neck, like a grizzly. And heavy slabs of muscle still hung from a large-boned skeleton over a gut that, with recent habits of nutrition, was actually wasting.
But the sobriquet which followed Barrett Raines probably came from his early morning habit, the one you could see him at, now, as he abandoned his beer to spoon gobs of honey from a mason jar into a mug of scalding coffee that steamed alongside.
“Good morning, Tallahassee!” A deejay cackled like a magpie from a radio Bear guessed had been salvaged from the French Resistance. “It’s seven forty-five for those of you confused about yer watch. And we’ve got sunshine in the Sunshine State!”
Did they ever. The heat and humidity index for north Florida began its inexorable climb to misery every year just about this time, a fact joyfully chronicled by meterologists who apparently never spent a day outside.
“A beautiful day here in the Capital City,” the deejay chattered on breezily. “Humid, though. Ninety-seven percent at the moment. And not a smidgeon of breeze showing . . .”
“Not a smidgeon,” Bear agreed.
He reached for breakfast. An alligator-sized pickle waddled with a boiled egg on a plastic plate.
“. . . and if you notice the streets look a little empty,” the deejay chirped on, “guess what? It’s spring break! Yeah! All those frat boys and coeds out of town! Daytona! Pensacola! Wherever! Gotta tell you, though, it’s fine by me. A break in the traffic!”
The deejay’s chatter segued to Vince Gill—“When I Call Your Name.” Something about a guy coming home to find his wife’s left him.
“Would you cut that shit off, Shark?”
“Click,” a black man with a tonsure wreathed in silver killed the bar’s radio.
Barrett could not help but notice that the Shark showed not a bead of perspiration whereas he, twenty years younger and propped beneath the bar’s single and massive window unit, was sweating like a June bride in a feather bed. Bear just shook his head. Some things were imponderable.
“Cigarettes, Shark?”
Shark Snyder banged a roll of quarters into the register. He owned and ran the No-Tell and was not pleased with the tab Bear had amassed since separating from his wife.
But Shark would not deny a man his smokes. The Marlboros were supplied with the grace of a true Southerner, something Barrett Raines could appreciate. The Bear, after all, was originally from Deacon Beach, a small town on the Gulf. (What the hell did “originally” mean in that context, anyway? Could you originate from more than one place?! Wasn’t that redundant, or tautological or some shit?) There were nothing but fishermen on Deacon Beach. Shrimpers, mostly. Sunburned men, angry and white, who owned everything.
Barrett zipped off the Marlboro’s ribbon like the string from a Band-Aid, tapped a smoke free. He couldn’t understand how he’d wound up in this place. He’d done all the right things. Had always managed to make his mark.
But something always tarnished the trophy. Take school—Barrett graduated valedictorian from a high school where most black kids didn’t even finish. Didn’t mean shit to the shrimpers of Deacon Beach. There were no scholarships waiting. No eager inquiries from colleges or universities.
The young Raines immediately enlisted in the army because there, he knew, was a way off the Beach. And that went all right. Bear took his G.I. bennies and a hitch in the reserves to a small, liberal university in Texas. He discovered literature and pursued a double major, was respected by his profs and popular with students eager to champion social justice and tolerance and the like.
But at the tail end of his senior year, Iraqi tanks rolled into Kuwait. Barrett’s artillery unit was activated, and the Bear went to war. Students and faculty seemed cool upon his return. The black man familiar to them, the earnest student notorious among his classmates for actually enjoying Aeschylus and Euripides, did not sit well with the returned soldier who without apology killed tanks and infantry in a terrible, desert storm.
“One day I’m Koom-Bye-Yah with the white boys.” Barrett shared that thought with Shark on a previous occasion. “Next day they’re treating me like a house nigger.”
“Ain’t nuthin’ new in that.” Shark’s grunted rejoinder was short on sympathy.
Then Bear married his hometown’s homecoming queen. Girl of his dreams. Any man’s dreams. They’d made nine, almost nine and a half years. Couldn’t say without a hitch, who could? But nine good—damn good years. With two boys. Twins! And now, looked like, that was all going down the drain, too.
The beer chugged down Bear’s throat like molasses. Hell of a thing, being separated from your wife. Your family.
But at least he had the work, his calling, his gift. The work had been wonderful, at first, had sustained the Bear and justified him righteously. That was then. But now, scarcely a year after coming to this unfamiliar place, Barrett Raines slouched in a bar at eight o’clock in the steaming morning, nearer to forty years than thirty, in debt and in danger of losing along with his job the only woman he’d ever loved in his life.
Bear fumbled open a book of matches. A hot draught of tobacco and tar coiled into overtaxed lungs.
“Thought you was quittin’,” Shark interrupted the Bear’s rumination.
“I am. Sometime.”
Barrett told himself, and Shark, that nicotine kept his weight down. Raines was lucky to have a coffin’s worth of height and a rawboned physique to carry his weight. It was a chassis that held the strength and tone more tenaciously than most. Even against cigarettes.
“Killed John Wayne,” Shark reminded Barrett mournfully. “Kill him, it’ll sure as hell kill you.”
“Not if I eat well.”
Time for the morning ritual: Down with the pickle, the egg and then the beer to chase.
“Go Seminoles!” Barrett belched, and then to Shark, “ ’Nother one.”
“Pickle? Or aig?”
“Very witty,” Barrett twisted a clip-on tie from his frayed and ringed Arrow collar.
“You owe me forty-eight dollars and fifty cents,” Shark reminded his sole customer of the morning. “That’s a lot of Bud.”
“No cash.” Barrett pulled out his pockets to prove it. “State’s got our paychecks held up.”
“Since when do state workers miss a check?”
“The budgets stalled, all right? The governor’s constipated. What am I supposed to do?”
“Vote democrat. Take Ex-Lax.”
But Shark slid a Budweiser down his marine-ply bar. Barrett caught it just in time to hear the door tinkle open. A new prospect for the morning? Spiked heels. Tank top. Ambitious breasts. Celia stretched beneath the air conditioner like it was a shower. “It’s hotter than four hundred hells melted and poured in a tin thimble.”
“Have a seat, Ceal.” Barrett pulled one out for her.
“My meter’s running.”
“I’m down to a stroll myself,” Barrett smiled broadly. “But you’re welcome to a seat.”
“How ’bout a smoke?”
“All right.” Barrett tapped the pack for two when brakes locked to draw his attention outside.
“Shee-it,” Shark paused at the register.
A trio of teenagers spilled from a rusted van onto the sidewalk across the street. Gang members. Shirts and shoelaces. A jack slammed beneath the Ford.
Barrett turned to Shark, “Your car?”
“Naw.”
Only a couple of seconds to raise the car. Hubcaps spilled to the sidewalk like nickels on a plate. Celia was already bored.
“How ’bout we start the day off with a bang.” She slid a finger inside Barrett’s collar.
“Sorry. No can do.”
A power wrench hammered at lug bolts outside.
“Tired?” Celia swung into Raines’s lap.
“Well, yeah, but mostly broke.”
“We can go on credit.”
“I’m in debt.”
“So’s the government.” She stretched like a cat. “Doesn’t stop them.”
“Good point,” Barrett nodded, though whether he was talking about the government or her tits would be hard to determine.
Wham! The Ford collapsed to its axles. The van inhaled its hoodlums, burned rubber out to the street. And then a siren wailed.
“Here come de cavalry.” Celia sucked her Marlboro.
The cavalry had come. But not for the teenage hoods. An unmarked Crown Vic glided smoothly to a halt beside the compact Ford. The driver heaved out, a boulder-sized redhead with a leather bulge beneath his shoulder. He strolled, this man, from the Crown Victoria to the No-Tell’s entrance, tapped the door open—
“Raines.”
What was that accent? Wisconsin? Minnesota? Someplace, for sure, where they ate a lot of cheese.
“Cricket,” Barrett greeted the newcomer. “Good mawnin’.”
“Time to travel, Bear.”
Barrett heaved a huge sigh, finished the last slug of his Bud, ground out his butt. Only after he fetched a jacket from the floor would anyone see the badge and the gun which clued the work that once had made the Bear a proud man.
Only then would you know that Barrett Raines was a cop.
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Table of Contents

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Action packed police procedural

    <P>Police detective Barrett Raines needs to prove to others and perhaps more so to himself that he is as good as any white man at the job. When the Florida legislature created the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, an in-state FBI unit, Barrett was asked to join. He was well aware of the prestigious honor bestowed upon him and saw the job as a chance to prove himself.. Barrett accompanied by his beloved wife Laura Anne and their twin sons left his hometown of Deacon Beach to move to Tallahassee, headquarters of the FDLE. Ultimately, Laura Anne separated from her spouse, hating the big city and returning to Deacon Beach with the two boys. <P>Barrett began drinking excessively and screwing up on the job. He was nearly fired but he and his partner were instead given a seven-year-old case to solve. Two men robbed a bank but everything except an aluminum key was recovered. One thief went to jail, but upon his release was murdered by an international assassin who wants the aluminum case back. The criminal¿s death awakens Barrett awakens Barrett¿s hunting instincts and he heads to DEAD MAN¿S BAY in search of clues and redemption. <P>Darryl Wimberley is an author who provides the audience with an action-packed police procedural that has readers wondering what will happen next. The flawed hero is vulnerable, but not afraid to speak out when he fears something. This adds up to the total package (aside from Mr. Lex Luger) of an admirable role model. The support cast augments the tale with likable individuals that lead fans to wanting more Barrett Raines tales. <P>Harriet Klausner

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