Windward Passage

Overview

In a parallel near future, a ship sinks into the Caribbean with its captain chained to the mast. Left behind is a logbook missing ten pages, presidential DNA hidden in a brick of smuggled cocaine, and a nearly completed novel. Tipsy, the dead sailor's sister, and Red Means, his erstwhile employer, travel from San Francisco to the Caribbean and back as they attempt to unravel a mystery that rapidly widens from death at sea to international conspiracy. With verve and humor, Nisbet has fashioned an engaging ...

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Windward Passage: A Novel

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Overview

In a parallel near future, a ship sinks into the Caribbean with its captain chained to the mast. Left behind is a logbook missing ten pages, presidential DNA hidden in a brick of smuggled cocaine, and a nearly completed novel. Tipsy, the dead sailor's sister, and Red Means, his erstwhile employer, travel from San Francisco to the Caribbean and back as they attempt to unravel a mystery that rapidly widens from death at sea to international conspiracy. With verve and humor, Nisbet has fashioned an engaging facsimile of our modern world, albeit with snappier dialogue, amped-up technology, and even more clearly stated political prejudices.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The compelling tale of a dead smuggler known only as Charley forms the backdrop for Nisbet's ambitious if meandering thriller set largely in the Caribbean. When Charley's sailboat sinks in shallow water with him chained to the mast, Charley's sister, Tipsy, and his drug lord boss, Red Means, launch their own personal salvage operation. Hidden among many bricks of cocaine below the ship's deck is thought to be a DNA sample from an unidentified U.S. president. Together, Tipsy and Red try to figure out who killed Charley and why someone would want some president's DNA, guided by the incomplete log they find in the dry part of the partially submerged boat. Nisbet (Dark Companion) has his own eccentric plotting style that tends to create parallel worlds within his main story. Long-winded and often tediously detailed, these digressions detract from an otherwise addictive narrative. (Apr.)
Library Journal
A sailboat piloted by Charley Powell, ace seaman, aspiring novelist, and sometime smuggler, goes down in the Caribbean with unusual cargo—a bit of presidential DNA hidden inside a kilo of cocaine. The sinking attracts an extraordinary amount of attention, including that of Charley's employer, smuggler and sea dog Red Means, who has contracted to deliver the DNA and wants to get it back before his contractors find him; Charley's sister, Tipsy, who wants to know why Charley's severed head is in the freezer of Red's boat; and Vassily Novgorodovich, an elderly Russian gentleman, who is to receive the cargo for a mysterious right-wing group seeking to clone the perfect leader and who will stop at nothing, including murder, to obtain it. VERDICT Nisbet mixes noir mystery, dystopian sf, and a great deal of humor into a bubbling, complex stew. With his scruffy characters, political and philosophical bent, and ability to turn a striking simile, he resembles no one so much as a somewhat more subdued (no talking inanimate objects) Tom Robbins. Highly recommended.—Lawrence Rungren, Merrimack Valley Lib. Consortium, North Andover, MA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781482928792
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/15/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Nisbet is the author of eleven novels. His novel Dark Companion was shortlisted for the Hammet prize and he is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. His books have been translated and published in French, German, Japanese, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Greek, Russian and Romanian. He lives in San Francisco.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    gripping conspiracy thriller

    In the Caribbean, the Vellela Vellela partially sinks to the bottom of the shallow sea with smuggler Charley chained to the mast. Inside the small sailboat besides its chained captain on the dry section of the ship is a log with ten pages torn out and ripped off, the DNA of POTUS concealed inside of cocaine, and a partially written novel. None of this makes sense as whoever chained Charley and stole the log pages left behind a fortune.

    In San Francisco Charley's sister Tipsy wants answers while drug lord Red Means wants his cargo. They combine their quests taking the booty, trying to learn who killed Charley and several answers to a myriad of why questions like why leave the loot behind, why tearing pages from the log and why the president's DNA was even on board Charley's vessel.

    This is a gripping conspiracy thriller that captures the attention of the audience from the moment Charley knows time is running out on him and never let's goes as the reader wants to know the answers to the ton of whys. Fast-paced throughout, the two amateur sleuths follow broken clues in an effort to learn the truth and possess what was left behind. Timely yet eerie in many ways, fans will enjoy this strange but exhilarating tale as political bias trumps over logic, fairness and common good in Jim Nisbet's strong suspense.

    Harriet Klausner

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