White Cargo

( 14 )


Modern PiratesThey should have killed Catledge.
But they were too cruel. They let him live while they raped
his wife and daughter.Let him live while they sent his yacht and his family
to the bottom of the Caribbean.Let him live knowing he could never find the killers in ...
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Modern PiratesThey should have killed Catledge.
But they were too cruel. They let him live while they raped
his wife and daughter.Let him live while they sent his yacht and his family
to the bottom of the Caribbean.Let him live knowing he could never find the killers in the
drug boomtowns and pirate ports of Columbia.Then, late one night back in the States, the phone rang.
And one word gave Catledge something to live for.One word crackling through the night before the
connection was lost.One word that launched a one-man war against
a ruthless outlaw.

Nothing is more precious than White Cargo. In drug-soaked Columbia, a father searches for his daughter among men who would lay down their lives for the pleasures of white women and white powder. The bestselling author of Deep Lie delves deep into the jungle for a top-notch tale of drugs, danger, and rescue.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite Woods's on-site research in Colombia, this suspense tale of cocaine trafficking and kidnapping only skims the surface of the seamy drug world it purports to investigate. Wendell ``Cat'' Catledge, a self-made electronics millionaire, is yachting off the South American coast with his family when a bloody act of piracy snatches away his ``heart-stoppingly beautiful'' teenage daughter Jinx and wife Katie. They are presumed dead, but weeks later Cat gets a brief phone call and recognizes Jinx's voice. His quest for his daughter, who is now a zombie enslaved by ``the Anaconda,'' a Colombian drug baron, involves Cat with assorted CIA and narc types and with Meg Greville, a freelance TV journalist who may be KGB. Woods Deep Lie, Chiefs serves up a slam-bang rescue as a fitting finale, but the suspense overall is so-so and the Latinos are either faceless or stereotypically sneaky. This one reads like a lukewarm episode of Miami Vice. August
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061014239
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.72 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart Woods

Stuart Woods is the author of more than forty novels, including the New York Times bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. An avid sailor and pilot, he lives in New York City, Florida, and Maine.


Stuart Woods was born in 1938 in Manchester, Georgia. After graduating from college and enlisting in the Air National Guard, he moved to New York, where he worked in advertising for the better part of the 1960s. He spent three years in London working for various ad agencies, then moved to Ireland in 1973 to begin his writing career in earnest.

However, despite his best intentions, Woods got sidetracked in Ireland. He was nearly 100 pages into a novel when he discovered the seductive pleasures of sailing. "Everything went to hell," he quips on his web site "All I did was sail." He bought a boat, learned everything he could about celestial navigation, and competed in the Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic Race (OSTAR) in 1976, finishing respectably in the middle of the fleet. (Later, he took part in the infamous Fastnet Race of 1979, a yachting competition that ended tragically when a huge storm claimed the lives of 15 sailors and 4 observers. Woods and his crew emerged unharmed.)

Returning to the U.S., Woods wrote two nonfiction books: an account of his transatlantic sailing adventures (Blue Water, Green Skipper) and a travel guide he claims to have written on a whim. But the book that jump-started his career was the opus interruptus begun in Ireland. An absorbing multigenerational mystery set in a small southern town, Chiefs was published in 1981, went on to win an Edgar Award, and was subsequently turned into a television miniseries starring Charlton Heston.

An amazingly prolific author, Woods has gone on to pen dozens of compelling thrillers, juggling stand-alone novels with installments in four successful series. (His most popular protagonists are New York cop-turned-attorney Stone Barrington, introduced in 1991's New York Dead, and plucky Florida police chief Holly Barker, who debuted in 1998's Orchid Beach.) His pleasing mix of high-octane action, likable characters, and sly, subversive humor has made him a hit with readers -- who have returned the favor by propelling his books to the top of the bestseller lists.

Good To Know

Some fascinating facts about Stuart Woods:

His first job was in advertising at BBDO in New York, and his first assignment was to write ads for CBS-TV shows. He recalls: "They consisted of a drawing of the star and one line of exactly 127 characters, including spaces, and I had to write to that length. It taught me to be concise."

He flies his own airplane, a single-engine turboprop called a Jetprop, and tours the country every year in it, including book tours.

He's a partner in a 1929 motor yacht called Belle and spends two or three weeks a year aboard her.

In 1961-62, Woods spent 10 months in Germany with the National Guard at the height of the Berlin Wall Crisis.

In October and November of 1979, he skippered a friend's yacht back across the Atlantic, with a crew of six, calling at the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands and finishing at Antigua in the Caribbean.

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    1. Hometown:
      Key West, Florida; Mt. Desert, Maine; New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 9, 1938
    2. Place of Birth:
      Manchester, Georgia
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Georgia, 1959
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

White Cargo

Chapter One

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.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2012

    This was my first Stuart Woods book - and will probably be my la

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Strange Sexual Innuendo

    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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2013

    Highly recommend

    another winner

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  • Posted November 21, 2012

    Good read!

    Good read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is an exciting thriller

    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.<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2008

    White Cargo eats like a smooth chocolate bar

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2000

    An action packed adventure

    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.

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    Posted May 29, 2011

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    Posted January 13, 2013

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    Posted February 23, 2010

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    Posted January 9, 2009

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