White Cargoby Stuart Woods
Tech millionaire Wendell “Cat” Catledge has taken two years off to sail around the world with his wife and eighteen-year-old daughter. And he’s never been happier—until an impromptu stop for repairs and supplies in Santa Marta, Colombia, turns into a disaster. His wife and daughter are sent to a watery grave, but Cat—though shot—survives…
The killers should have been more careful.
Now as Cat struggles to put the pieces of his life back together, one phone call will change everything—and send him back to Colombia on a vengeance-fueled journey through its deadly drug towns. One faint voice in the night that says…“Daddy.”
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.20(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Read an Excerpt
Wendell Catledge sat up and squinted at the smudge on the horizon. It should not have been a surprise, he thought, but it was. The boat slid smoothly along in the light wind, and even the slight movement made it hard to focus on the shape, but it wasn't a ship or an oil rig, and in the early morning light, it seemed to be pink. He pulled at his beard and ran a hand through his hair, which was a good six months overdue for cutting. Hell, it just might be, it just might be what he guessed it was.
He glanced at the sails, left the autopilot in charge, and climbed down the companionway ladder to the navigation station. As he slid into the chart table seat he allowed himself yet another look at his instrument array. It was all there -- full Brookes & Gatehouse electronics, VHF and SSB radios, loran, Satnav, Weatherfax, a compact personal computer, and his own brainchild and namesake, the Cat One printer. That little machine had brought him all this -- the yacht, the gear, and the time to sail. Cat had waked up one morning and realized that, after nearly thirty years in electronics, he was an overnight success. He gave the printer a fatherly pat and turned to his chart of the southern Caribbean.
He pushed a button on the loran and got a readout of longitude and latitude, then plotted the coordinates on his chart and confirmed his suspicion. They were south of their course from Antigua to Panama and the Canal, and the smudge on the horizon wasn't all that far off the rhumb line. A tiny thrill ran through him. This is what it's all about, he thought, that little thrill of discovery, pushing back the boundaries,punching through the envelope. He laughed aloud to himself, then he banged his flat palm onto the chart table.
"All hands on deck!" he shouted, grabbing the binoculars and starting for the companionway ladder. "All hands on deck!" he yelled again, pausing in the hatchway, "Come on, everybody, shake it!" There was a rustling noise from the after cabin and a loud thump from the forepeak. He raised the glasses and focused on the distant, pink smudge. It was. It was, indeed.
Katie was the first into the cockpit, rubbing her eyes. Jinx was a step or two behind, having paused long enough to find a life jacket. "What is it, Cat? What's wrong?" his wife demanded.
"What's going on, Daddy?" Jinx yelled, wide-eyed.
He was pleased that, in her excitement, Jinx had forgotten to call him Cat. When she addressed him as an equal, it reminded him she was growing up -- had grown up. "Right over there," he said, pointing at the smudge.
Both women squinted at the horizon, shielding their eyes from the sun, which was now just above the horizon, big and hot.
"What is it?" Jinx demanded. "I can only see sort of a smudge -- "
"That's South America, kid," he replied. "Never let it be said your old man didn't show you South America."
She turned to him, a look of astonished disgust spreading over her face. "You mean you got me out of the sack for that?" She turned to her mother and shrugged, spreading her hands.
"For Christ's sake, Cat," his wife said, "I thought we were sinking." Both women turned back toward the companionway.
"Hey, wait a minute, guys," Cat said, thrusting the chart toward them, "that smudge is the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, a little mountain range that goes up to nearly nineteen thousand feet; that's the La Guajira Peninsula of Colombia out there; just south of it is the fabled Venezuelan Port of Maracaibo. Doesn't that name send a chill right through you?"
"It sends a yawn right through me," Jinx said, yawning.
"No, wait a minute, kitten," Katie said to her daughter. "Look at it through the glasses. Your father didn't bring us all this way to miss this sort of thing."
Jinx took the binoculars and looked through them at the smudge. "Gee," she said, flatly, "you're right, it's a mountain. I've never seen a mountain before." She handed the glasses back to her mother.
Katie raised the glasses to her eyes. "You're right, it's a mountain. I've never seen a mountain before, either. Wow." She handed the binoculars back to Cat. "Can we go back to bed now?"
"Aw, listen, I know it's early, but you've got to get into the spirit. How would you like to have lunch in Colombia? How about that for a little unscheduled adventure?"
"I thought you were anxious to get through the Canal," Katie replied.
"Well, what the hell? It's not much out of the way, and we need to get that alternator fixed, you know. No more showers or microwave or hair dryer until we can charge the batteries again, and all that stuff in the freezer is going to go, too." The alternator had been down for two days, and they didn't have a spare. "Take a look here, both of you," Cat said, spreading the chart on a cockpit seat. "Here's Santa Marta, just down here. It's a commercial port, and they're bound to have some sort of electrical repair place there. "
"Listen, I don't like what I hear about Colombia," Katie said. "All I hear is pickpockets and drugs and stuff. Sounds like a pretty rough place to me."
"Don't believe everything you read in the papers," Cat replied. "Hell, lots of people go there all the time. It's just like any other place; a few of them get ripped off, sure. We've been in neighborhoods in Atlanta that were probably as dangerous as anything in Santa Marta."
"I don't know, Cat."
"Listen, Mom," Jinx broke in, "I don't mind..."White Cargo. Copyright © by Stuart Woods. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Stuart Woods is the author of more than sixty novels. He is a native of Georgia and began his writing career in the advertising industry. Chiefs, his debut in 1981, won the Edgar Award. An avid sailor and pilot, Woods lives in Florida, Maine, and New Mexico.
- Key West, Florida; Mt. Desert, Maine; New York, New York
- Date of Birth:
- January 9, 1938
- Place of Birth:
- Manchester, Georgia
- B.A., University of Georgia, 1959
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This was my first Stuart Woods book - and will probably be my last. Publishers Weekly said it read like a lukewarm Miami Vice episode. Yes, it was that dated, but only cheesier - more like an A-Team episode! The main character is an unbelieveable, James Bond-esque action hero, appearing to be merely a wealthy businessman. Not only is there "strange sexual innuendo" (see next review) with his own daughter, but the character shows little regard for the fate of his wife (or son). A much more interesting character was Bluey, but even he goes undeveloped. For a better "men's action-adventure" read, try Nelson Demille.
I saw this on the sale list. Read it several years ago. It was very good. Try it, i think you will enjoy it. Kat
I only read the first few chapters of this book and just could not force myself to read further. The first several chapters are so focused on the main character's musings about his daughter's creamy thighs and buttocks, how sexy she is, how she looks in her itty bitty bikini, and on and on. I was just plain creeped out and couldn't go any futher. I am not sure what possessed this author to have a male main character mentally discussing and thinking of his adult daughter in this twisted way. Whatever it was, it ruined the book for me and I was not able to finish it. I would like my money back but feel since I read the first few chapters, it's now used and I shouldn't. Even so, I am upset to line this guy's pocket.
Off the Caribbean coast of South America, they assaulted his yacht, taking him prisoner. They raped his wife Katie and daughter Pixie before sinking the vessel killing the mother and abducting the teen although he believes both is dead. Yet they gleefully allowed millionaire Wendell Catledge to live knowing he cannot get to them, but will always remember how helpless he was and is.
The thugs joyfully returned to Columbia while Cat works every angle to avenge what they ruthlessly did to his loved ones. .He lives for that only one thing: revenge until a call informs him his Pixie lives. He plans to rescue his daughter. The vicious Anaconda will find this American electronic expert, accompanied by Feds and a TV reporter, who is coming for him. He wants his daughter back and nothing will stop him from succeeding on his mission especially a snake.
This is an exciting thriller which seems timely with modern day pirates though on a different continent. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the assault begins and never takes a breather with an explosive climax. Although the South Americans from Anaconda to the pirates to the Columbian law enforcement are one dimensional cookie cutter stereotypes, fans will root for Cat to rescue Pixie.
Stuart Woods continues to impress me. I've been an avid fan from the beginning of his career and it never fails, I can't just take one bite and savor it, I have to eat the whole book in one sitting. White Cargo was a great read.
The novel was very good, it was hard to put down. I really liked how the book was action packed. I liked how Cat took it into his own hands to take revenge on the people who had taken his daughter. I also liked how the author used such a realistic plot. At some times I thought the pace was a little slow but it made up for it with more action. If you're looking for a good book to read and you like a book with a lot of action then I would recommend this book to you.