Thin Slice of Life

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Overview

 

Charlie Sweetwater returns to his hometown to visit his brother but arrives to find he is a no-show: The Coast Guard has discovered Johnny?s shrimp boat drifting abandoned in the Gulf. Is it ?death by misadventure? as the authorities presume, or something more sinister? Meanwhile, Fulton Harbor, where Charlie?s family have docked their shrimp boats for generations, has changed?and not for the better. Hard-working Vietnamese fishermen are under the thumb of Col. Nguyen Ngoc Bao, a ruthless exiled ...

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Thin Slice of Life

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Overview

 

Charlie Sweetwater returns to his hometown to visit his brother but arrives to find he is a no-show: The Coast Guard has discovered Johnny’s shrimp boat drifting abandoned in the Gulf. Is it “death by misadventure” as the authorities presume, or something more sinister? Meanwhile, Fulton Harbor, where Charlie’s family have docked their shrimp boats for generations, has changed—and not for the better. Hard-working Vietnamese fishermen are under the thumb of Col. Nguyen Ngoc Bao, a ruthless exiled gangster who aims to recreate his criminal enterprise in a New World setting. Confronting Bao and his thugs are Charlie and a mismatched group of good guys (and gals): a fast-and-loose Cajun hustler, a salty cast of “Third Coast” barroom regulars, a handful of courageous Vietnamese émigrés, a menacing ex-convict, and a misplaced Texas Ranger who discovers a slice of the Lone Star State that the cowboy movies of his boyhood never prepared him for. Along the way Charlie finds himself falling for his brother’s girlfriend, whose zealous desire to see justice served tests his own limits for loyalty and commitment. Unlikely heroes arise from improbable circumstances, and the denizens of the small seaside community find their fortunes and fates ebbing and flowing like the tidal flux of the ocean itself.

 

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The triumvirate writing as Miles Arceneaux (aka Texas authors Brent Douglass, John T. Davis and James R. Dennis) debuts with a hurricane-ravaged thriller in the atmosphere-and-action mode of Sue Grafton's Santa Teresa and James Lee Burke's Cajun country. Charlie Sweetwater, vagabond owner of a small Mexican diving resort, picks up the phone and hears his brother say "drive up here….I want you to meet somebody." Brother Johnny runs the family's fishing fleet, having remained on the Texas Gulf after their father's death. Charlie arrives, but Johnny is missing at sea. Thus begins an adventure among shrimpers, fisherman and edge-of-law folks sailing around the fertile bay waters near Port Aransas, and it all plays out before, during and after a devastating hurricane called Lana. It's 1979, and trawlers harvesting the Texas Gulf Coast's bounty are largely crewed by ambitious and hardworking Vietnamese refugees. That's good. What's bad is the market's controlled by Sea-Tex, a shadowy corporation owned by "Colonel" Nguyen Ngoc Bao, a man who has "the sort of attitude for his adopted home that a crocodile reserves for a poodle." The storm, plus gunrunning, drug smuggling and the hardy denizens of the Shady Boat and Leisure Club, give the novel a hold-onto-your-seat cinematic narrative. Add film-ready characterizations like Llewellyn "Pinky" Cudihay (cast John Goodman, certainly), who is a corrupt state senator, and O. B. Hadnott (give Tommy Lee Jones a Stetson), a West Texas Ranger assigned to investigate the shooting of the senator's aide, and it's a page turner. The authors also do a commendable job with Hispanic and Vietnamese characters. There's menacing Miguel Negron, former gangbanger, prisoner and now cook/bartender, and Marisol Cavasos, Miguel's childhood friend and current parole officer. Then there's beautiful Trinh An Phu, once a Saigon bar girl, who captures the taciturn Ranger's heart. And that's not counting young Raul, who attaches himself to Tío Carlito. Fights, stabbings and gunplay carry the narrative until the good guys win out and get the girls. An engaging crime caper. This book hits the mark.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936205844
  • Publisher: Stephen F. Austin State University Press
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 516,381
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Miles Arceneaux is the nom de plume of Texas-based writers Brent Douglass, John T. Davis and James R. Dennis, who began the novel as a lark—a daisy-chain manuscript with participants writing chapters in turn. Critical encouragement, a Best Mystery Manuscript award, and friends’ enthusiasm for the book combined to encourage the trio to finish it. Miles is currently working on the third novel in the series introduced by Thin Slice of Life.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2013

    Highly recommended!! Rich and Quirky characters. Highly descriptive. A fantastic read!

    Fantastic read! The fast-paced , witty murder mystery brought you memorable characters and places that leave you itching to visit.
    It's not that often that I read a book where I really like BOTH the story and the characters, but Thin Slice of Life hit both right out of the park. The book is very descriptive in that you feel like you are there with the characters. You can almost smell the ocean.
    Reminds me a lot of Pat Conroy's writing.
    Cannot wait until the second book comes out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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