Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
FYI: Gibbs, senior editor of Islands magazine, is the son of famed New Yorker writer Wolcott Gibbs.
This title begins the sleuthing career of Neal Donahoe, an officer of Santa Barbara's Harbor Patrol. Soon after the disappearance of a powerful DEA boat and a subsequent yacht bombing, Neal partners with Tory Lennox of the Coast Guard to find the killers. Plenty of sailing action from the expert responsible for the Diana Speed series (Capitol Offense, LJ 12/94).
Nobody appreciates Wilbur Andreas. He's got the talent and the stock of paintings (also not appreciated); all he needs is an angle. For instance, muses his agent Jock Feverel, he'd be a sensation if he were a newly-blinded guest on the Making Things Right TV show, sobbing manfully about the paintings he could never add to or touch up again. While Jock is plotting with Wilbur's ex, a lovesick ophthalmologist, and miscellaneous hangers-on around the Santa Barbara harborone of whom, inevitably, will end up in Davy Jones's lockerto fake an accident that'll leave Wilbur conveniently blind, there's more trouble brewing. Acting Harbormaster Neal Donahue (Shot in the Dark, 1996) has been ordered to evict crazy preacher Erling Halvorsen and his children from their floating tenement, the Prophet Jonah, but Neal's bosom buddy, Coast Guard Lt. Tory Lennox, has come to Halvorsen's defense with all flags flying, opening a rift between herself and Neal and fueling a dangerous gleam in Halvorsen's eye. By the time the TV folks come sniffing after Jock's bait, it's a toss-up who's going to be the most dangerous: Jock's menacing new self-appointed silent partner in the painting scam; loony Halvorsen, who seems bent on reenacting the sacrifice of Isaac; or Rebecca Jardine, the eager, athletic assistant producer of Making Things Right, whose presence can only make things worse.
A lightweight tale, built for speed, that ought to come packaged with a beach blanket. Gibbs saves his trademark sailing scenes for last, but they're well worth the wait.