Stormchild [NOOK Book]

Overview

Tragedy has decimated Tim Blackburn's safe and comfortable existence. Having already lost a son in a terrorist attack, he must now cope with the death of his beloved wife, killed in a mysterious explosion at sea. And all that remains of his destroyed family is his missing daughter Nicole, last seen in the company of Caspar von Rellsteb—the mad, charismatic leader of the shadowy environmental activist group called Genesis—who keeps an iron-fisted hold over his fanatically dedicated followers. Determined to free ...

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Stormchild

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Overview

Tragedy has decimated Tim Blackburn's safe and comfortable existence. Having already lost a son in a terrorist attack, he must now cope with the death of his beloved wife, killed in a mysterious explosion at sea. And all that remains of his destroyed family is his missing daughter Nicole, last seen in the company of Caspar von Rellsteb—the mad, charismatic leader of the shadowy environmental activist group called Genesis—who keeps an iron-fisted hold over his fanatically dedicated followers. Determined to free Nicole from the crazed, self-proclaimed "protector of the planet," Tim sets sail aboard the sloop Stormchild, with the beautiful, story-hungry journalist Jackie Potten. But their hunt for the hidden lair of Genesis is leading them into dangerous and terrifying waters—and the darkness that waits for Tim Blackburn on the far side of the world could destroy both his sanity and his soul.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061836695
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 202,557
  • File size: 503 KB

Meet the Author

Bernard Cornwell is the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers 1356 and Agincourt; the bestselling Saxon Tales, which include The Last Kingdom, The Pale Horseman, Lords of the North, Sword Song, The Burning Land, and most recently Death of Kings; and the Richard Sharpe novels, among many others. He lives with his wife on Cape Cod and in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Read an Excerpt

Stormchild


By Bernard Cornwell

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Bernard Cornwell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061099457

Chapter One

The sea was weeping.

It was a gray sea being kicked into life by a sudden wind; a sea being torn into raggedness and flecked white. The fishermen called it a weeping sea, and claimed it presaged disaster.

"It won't last." My wife, Joanna, spoke of the sea's sudden spite.

The two of us were standing on the quay of our boatyard watching the black clouds fly up the English channel. It was the late afternoon of Good Friday, yet the air temperature felt like November and the bitter gray sea looked like January. The deteriorating weather had inevitably brought out the wind-surfers whose bright sails scudded through the gloom and bounced dangerously across the broken waters of the estuary's bar where the high bows of a returning fishing boat battered the sea into wind-slavered ruin. Our own boat, a Contessa 32 called Slip-Slider, jerked and pitched and thudded against her fenders on the outer pontoon beneath our quay.

"It can't last," Joanna insisted in her most robust voice as though she could enforce decent Easter weather by sheer willpower.

"It'll get worse before it gets better," I said with idle pessimism.

"So we won't sail tonight," Joanna said more usefully, "but we'll surely get away at dawn tomorrow." We had been planning a night passage to Guernsey,where Joanna's sister lived, and where, after church on Easter morning, my wife's family would sit down to roast lamb and new potatoes. The Easter family reunion had become a tradition, and that year Joanna and I had been looking forward to it with a special relish, for it seemed we had both at last recovered from the tragedies of our son's death and our daughter's disappearance. Time might not have completely healed those twin wounds, but it had layered them over with skins of tough scar tissue, and Joanna and I were aware of ordinary happinesses once again intruding on what had been a long period of mourning and bafflement. Life, in short, was becoming normal, and being normal, it presented its usual crop of problems.

Our biggest immediate problem was a damaged four-and-a-half-ton yawl which had been standing ready to be launched when our crane-driver had rammed it with the jib of his machine. The damage was superficial, merely some mangled guardrails and a nasty gash in the hull's gelcoat, but the yawl's owner, a petulant obstetrician from Basingstoke, was driving to the yard next lunchtime and expected to find his boat launched, rigged, and ready. Billy, our foreman, had offered to stay and make good the damage, but Billy was already covering for my absence over the Easter weekend and I had been unhappy about adding to his workload.

So the ill wind that had made the sea weep at least blew Billy some good, for I sent him home to his new wife while I towed the big yawl into the shed where wind and rain rattled the corrugated tin roof as I stripped out the damage under the big lamps. I planned the next morning's sail as I worked. If the marine forecast was right and this sudden hard weather abated, we could leave the river at daybreak and endure an hour of foul tide before the ebb swept us past the Anvil and out into mid-channel. We would make Guernsey in time for supper, and the only possible inconvenience in our revised plans was the probability that the visitor's marina in St. Peter's Port would be filled by the time of our arrival and we would have to find a mooring in the outer harbor.

As night fell it seemed improbable that the weather would relent by dawn. The shrieking wind was flaying the river with white foam. The gale was strong enough to persuade some of the Sailing Club members to borrow our launch and tow a gaggle of the club's dinghies off the midstream buoys and into the shelter of our pontoons. Joanna helped them, then spent two hours bringing the boatyard accounts up to date before braving the filthy weather to fetch two bags of cod and chips from the high street. It was while she was gone that Harry Carstairs phoned. "Thank God you're still there," Carstairs greeted me, "I thought you might have gone away for Easter."

Carstairs was a yacht broker who worked out of an air-conditioned office in London's Mayfair. His clients were not the small-boat sailors who were my bread and butter, but rather the hyper-rich who could afford professional skippers at the helm, naked starlets on the foredeck, and strollon, stroll-off berths in Monte Carlo. Our yard's normal business was much too paltry for Carstairs's expensive trade, but that year Joanna and I happened to have a great steel-hulled sloop for sale and, though at over a hundred and fifty thousand pounds Stormchild was at the very upper range of our stock, she barely scraped in at the slum end of Harry's business. "I've got a likely client who wants to look at the beast tomorrow," he told me in his champagne and caviar accent. "Is that all right with you?"

I hesitated before answering. Of late, as our life returned to normal, Joanna and I had discussed buying Stormchild for ourselves. We had dreamed of selling our house, hiring a manager to look after the yard, then sailing away to far white beaches and exotic harbors. Stormchild would have been the perfect boat to make those dreams come true, but the trouble was they were only dreams, not plans, and I knew we were not ready to make the change, just as I knew I could not pass up a proper offer for the big steel boat. "Stormchilds still here," I reluctantly told Carstairs, "and the yard's open from eight until six, so help yourself to a viewing. . .

Continues...


Excerpted from Stormchild by Bernard Cornwell Copyright © 2006 by Bernard Cornwell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 7 of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2012

    Good book

    I like Bernard Cornwell.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    Unusual plot

    Don't want to give it away but the book has some unusual plot turns. Ending was a little anticlimactic.

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    Posted January 27, 2010

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    Posted December 31, 2009

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