Close Reach: A Novel

Close Reach: A Novel

by Jonathan Moore

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Overview

Close Reach: A Novel by Jonathan Moore

In a riveting tale of suspense and terror on the high seas, Bram Stoker Award nominee Jonathan Moore pits human beings against nature—and something far deadlier: one another.
 
Kelly Pratihari-Reid and her husband sail their yacht into Antarctic waters, thinking their gravest concerns will be ice and storms—and their cracked marriage. A British girl shrieking across a short-range VHF frequency ends that illusion. It’s coming, she screams. It saw us and it’s coming back! Her voice is drowned by a tide of signal-jamming static, and Kelly sees a target on the radar screen: A ship is coming for them.
 
Thus begins an unforgettable cat-and-mouse game across stormy polar seas and dire landfalls. Kelly’s pursuers will test her to the limits of her endurance—and beyond. For the ship in her wake is crewed by pirates, with a young leader trained to use the most sadistic tortures in pursuit of his ultimate objective . . . a goal as shocking as it is horrific.

Praise for Close Reach
 
“This is the kind of horror that will make your heart race.”Examiner.com
 
“Mind-blowing . . . I started reading it and didn’t stop till I finished.”—Cabin Goddess
 
“A visceral edge-of-the-seat roller coaster ride.”—The Novel Pursuit
 
“A book that will appeal to sailing enthusiasts, horror enthusiasts or both!”—To Read or Not to Read Is Not a Question
 
“Pure adrenaline . . . definitely recommended for fans of dark thrillers.”—Pamelibrarian

“Set on the icy polar seas, bristling with suspense, Jonathan Moore’s Close Reach is as horrifying and claustrophobic as any haunted house story. The plot pitches and yaws with twist after twist, and by midpoint the reader is a goner. Leave the lights on, lock the doors, feed the cats, this is an irresistible page-turner of the first order. Highly recommended!”—Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling co-author of The Walking Dead: Fall of the Governor, Part Two and author of The Sinking of the Eastland

“Readers will need their sea legs for this hugely enjoyable, roller-coaster voyage of a novel. Close Reach is a brutal tale of redemption and revenge with a heroine to root for at every shocking twist and turn. Jonathan Moore’s writing is as rich as it is raw and thrilling—and storms along at a breakneck pace that will leave you gasping for air.”—Frazer Lee, Bram Stoker Award–nominated author of The Lamplighters, Panic Button, and The Jack in the Green

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553390940
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/06/2014
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 311,664
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Jonathan Moore lives in Hawaii, with his wife, Maria. When he’s not writing, or fixing his boat, Jonathan is an attorney at a Honolulu firm. Before completing law school in New Orleans, he was an English teacher, a white-water raft guide on the Rio Grande, a counselor at a Texas wilderness camp for juvenile delinquents, and an investigator for a criminal defense attorney in Washington, D.C. His first novel, Redheads, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award.

Read an Excerpt

~1~

The timer above the narrow pilot berth started buzzing at 2:50 a.m., but Kelly had been awake at least an hour, thinking about the last radio call. The signal had come the morning before, while they were still anchored off the Antarctic Peninsula’s Adelaide Island. She’d been making breakfast before they weighed anchor, when the voice of a young British woman came blasting out of the ether and into the bulkhead-mounted VHF.

It’s coming, this girl had screamed. It saw us and it’s coming back! Oh, God, Jim, hurry, please hurry!

And then her voice cut off.

What replaced her was more terrifying than her words. At first it was like someone had touched an arcing high-voltage wire to the British girl’s transmitter. But that sharp crackle had faded in a few seconds and was replaced by music. Not any kind of music Kelly listened to, but she thought she knew what it was called. Death metal. Or maybe black metal. Heavily distorted, pounding guitars. A singer screaming guttural lyrics that might not have been words at all. The music had gone on and on, with Kelly frozen in front of the stove, waiting for the girl’s voice to come back. Dean was on deck rigging the sails but ducked his head into the companionway. He’d heard everything on the VHF repeater in the cockpit.

“What’s going on?”

The VHF was set to monitor emergency channel 16. Kelly had put down the spatula, wiping her hands dry on the front of her polar fleece sweater as she stepped to the navigation station. She switched the VHF to channel 9, the backup emergency channel, but the music was there, too. Then she’d tried scanning all the channels up to 86.
The deafening music was on every VHF channel.

She looked at Dean, and he pointed silently at the single-sideband radio. She powered up the long-range SSB and ran through the frequencies from 2 megahertz to 26 megahertz. It was the same there. The terrible music was distorted on the extremely long-range frequencies at the high end of the SSB spectrum, but it was there.

“That’s impossible,” she said.

“Turn it off,” Dean said. “And get the engine started.”

He shut the hatch doors, and she heard his footfalls overhead as he went to the bow. In a moment she heard the electric whine of the windlass and the steady clink of anchor chain feeding into the forward locker.

* * *

They’d checked the radio thirty minutes later as they were motoring out of the lee of the island. The music had given way to a full spectrum of static and silence on the short-range VHF. On the SSB they picked up the usual chatter of faraway yachts. They listened to cruisers discussing the weather in the Marquesas and Galápagos, another pair of yachts arranging a rendezvous at coordinates that might have been the Minerva Reefs, off New Zealand. There was no interference and no music. This far south, there was no help to call on the SSB. Dean tried calling out on the short-range VHF, hoping to hail a nearby ship or the girl who’d cried out earlier.
But the only reply was silence and then static when Kelly turned down the radio’s squelch.

They looked at each other and at the glowing face of the radio panel, and Kelly knew there was nothing else they could do.

* * *

They set the storm staysail and tied a third reef into the mainsail before they broke out of the shelter of the island and into the open wind. Then they pointed the bow north, into the Drake Passage.

North, toward home.

* * *

Kelly hadn’t thought much of home in thirty-nine months of sailing, but now she wanted to be there badly. She lay in her bunk, listening to the buzzing alarm and wanting nothing more than to be back in Mystic under the covers of their bed in their house overlooking the harbor. To have this passage, and the eight thousand miles after it, finished. To have the S/V Freefall tied to her own dock, the miles a memory under her keel instead of a threat.

She thought of the young woman’s voice again, the terrible music that had drowned her.

It’s coming, she’d cried before the electronic tide carried her away.

Customer Reviews

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Close Reach 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
A couple is sailing out in the middle of no where when they hear a woman on the radio screaming for help, and then the radio is jammed by the sound of heavy metal music. Later they find themselves being pursued by a boat, and their own radio jammed by heavy metal. I'm sort of on the fence with this book. It started out great! Initially the detail in the book was very good, leaving me feeling as if I were right there. I know nothing about sailing, but the author had a way of relaying the boat and the functions of the sailors in such a way that I could envision exactly what was going on. The author's love for sailing was evident. However once the characters Dean and Kelly were off the boat, it got less detailed and felt more fragmented. I found it hard to keep track of the bad guys. They were like flashes of images and without much depth. In the beginning the story was really creepy and eerie. These people in the middle of no where, being chased by unknown people. Heavy metal music blaring. What do these pursuers want? What can this couple do to protect themselves? However about halfway through the book, I made a note that the story was getting a bit preposterous. It just started to feel a little bit like a crazy fantasy you might dream up while sitting around in your broken down car, waiting on the tow truck for two hours. My final word: The story felt a bit one-dimensional. It started out great, but the last half fell flat for me. While it was really eerie in the beginning, it wound up becoming just brutal and a bit excessive. I initially felt that this story had the potential for being a great frightener, but it fell short and wound up just being the equivalent of a slasher film. Okay for a quick read, but no real substance.
Autumn2 More than 1 year ago
I received this book via Netgalley to give an honest review. Loved the story line. It was a book that I dove right into and hated to put it down.  After reading this story I am a bit weary on going sailing now. Never went before not sure I would be going now.  When I read the blurb I noticed it said that 'Kelly Pratihari-Reid and her husband sail their yacht into Antarctic waters, thinking their gravest concerns will be ice and storms—and their cracked marriage.' I didn't really get a sense of a broken marriage until later on in the story when Kelly has a memory of what she had done. I figured that it would have given us more examples of their cracked marriage. But that is okay it doesn't take you away from the true story being told. So pretty much the main character Kelly is a strong character who given everything she has been through she comes out strong. She can still think with her head about what she needs to do. Now me I would have been a blubbering mess no doubt. I had a feeling this book would have been more like 'ghost ship' yep you remember that movie? It had that feeling to it, but of course I was wrong. The way this ship kept following Kelly and Dean was scary.  The "bad guy" the way he could torture someone without any remorse was just a oh wow!! I found myself cringing at what he was doing, and I like that. It is hard to find a good book that will have you cringe at what torture is written within the story.  The suspense within the story was just awesome. It kept me right on the edge of my seat, and had me going okay what is going to happen next. This author is one I will be keeping my eye on, he has a great writing style that I enjoy.  Not sure if it was a formatting issue or just written, but twice there was a paragraph that was repeated when I would turn the page.  I am hoping it has been corrected before the publication date.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first this book appears to about choices and redemption, a woman trying to work back into her marriage. Events throw the couple into a battle for their lives. It could have been the background for a great book, instead it fell into payback violence and circumstances and outcomes that were unrealistic. It did carry the suspense through the first half but fell short and ceased to be clever for the second half. Poor character development made it a dismal read for me but perhaps it was only meant to be a thin horror story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. Great story and writing style. I'll definitely look for other books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot for the life of me figure out why people have given this book 5 stars. It is completely flat. The characters are one dimensional and the author does not give any detail as to the characters descriptions physically as well as mentally or emotionally. Completely boring and overloaded with technical boating jargon. The author should have written a boating manual because clearly he writes a disappointing novel. Lacks any kind of emotion or hook and I had to stop reading half way through the book.
tpolen More than 1 year ago
Wow - this book didn't waste any time in getting directly to the action. It's a good thing it was a short read because once I started, I most definitely didn't want to put it down. The cover very appropriately displays how this couple was surrounded by a vast ocean and had no one in close proximity who could help them. They literally only had each other and with the situation they were in, that was a very scary thought when reading this book. At the beginning, I had my doubts about Kelly, afraid she would be useless in a crisis, but she surprised me and turned out to be very strong and resourceful. Some readers may be horrified by her actions - I wasn't one of them. I was with her all the way. Being set on a yacht, all the sailing jargon flew right over my head and I admit I skimmed through a lot of it, but it was obvious the author was either an experienced sailor or had done his research. Other than that, I was glued to this book and the description of "a riveting tale of suspense and terror" is exactly what you can expect from this novel. The pacing was perfect, the writing flowed, and I'm pretty sure I was holding my breath at some parts. I would highly recommend this to suspense/horror fans who don't shy away from extreme situations. This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book very intense. As a sailor, I could envision all that was happening. Sometimes the descriptions were of the extreme. Just keep reading...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is intense from the beginning right to the end. Will be reading more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book for .99 cents. WOW difinitely intense thriller. Enjoyed. Good read.
readerpersonSR More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It began with a bang and never letup. The characters were quite real, and interesting. A nice little adventure. I wish it was longer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book drew me in and hooked me. This psychological thriller was easy to read, fast paced and just horrifying enough to tolerate. I could put myself in Kelly's place and think "yes, I could do that to survive" . You will feel the hate she has buried inside since her young life and fight with her to save her, her husband and the young woman that started this whole drama. Enjoy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My first and last book from the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So the sailing facts were correct but this author's understanding of survival in cold conditions was ludicrous. There is no possible way that any human could survive naked with only a blanket in the Antarctic sea without food for days. That and his love for gore and misogynistic overtones really make this story trash.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story until towards the end where it seemed to jump in a few places.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book started off great but then in the middle it just got stupid. I also dont understand why other people are giving this book high reviews and 5 stars. Dean was stupid to want to stay married to a slutty woman that screwed around on him. The whole trip was Kelly's fault. If she had learned from her childhood mistakes and trama she would have had more respect for herself and her husband. The middle of the story with the turn of events was just stupid. If the bad guys used to be so powerful then they would have had a lot more guys and they would all have been bad because it was their way of life. They were used to torturing and killing people. They would have killed Dean off right away after he gave them his bank account numbers just like they killed off everyone else. Also, Kelly would have known the house was only in her name because she would have had to sign the papers in order to buy the house in the first place and the deed and taxes would have been under her name only. If Dean truly bought the house and wanted it in Kelly's name only she would have had to be present at the signing. So that part of the story was stupid and it just went down hill from there. I also don't understand why Kelly was the only woman that didn't get raped or tortured to keep her submissive. This story was just so far fetched and unbelievable. She could have killed a couple of bad guys to get away but if they were so evil and professional killers then they would have got her in the end. The story got so stupid and unbelievable I dont even know where to begin. Kelly became a psycho killer worse than the bad guys. I actually started rooting for the bad guys and felt sorry for the one she called Sour Breath. In real life Kelly would never had made it to the island where the bad guys were because they would have seen her coming on the radar. Professional killers are pretty much paranoid and always careful to make sure no one is following them and always are prepared with back up plans, propper scouting instruments and guns. Another stupid thing Kelly did was to kill off the doctors before checking if Lena was still alive. Kelly is a brain surgeon not a heart surgeon so another stupid part of the story. I doubt she would have known what to do in real life. Don't waste your money on this book. It is full of things that would never happen in real life. This book reads like a B horror movie where the good guy gets away at the end yet everyone else gets tortured and killed. Stupid!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are not a sea adventureperson this might still be for you Fast pace and you start caring for the goof guys lots of excitrment
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exciting, frightening, violent, many other words describe this book...unusual story told with a quick to the point outline of the danger the characters face. Recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sometimes a story has a begining, a muddle and an ending,, but this started off with a bang and stayed right to the ending. I'LL ADMIT I WOULD HAVE ENJOYED SOME BACKGROUND ON THEIR LIVES? Some physical description etc. ANYWAY I THOUGHT THE BOOK WAS A STUNNER THAT HAD ME UP HALF THE NIGHT BECAUSE I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. Wish he woulld write more nautical stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for fans of thriller novels. Plan your day to be unable to put this book down. I liked Redheads, but Close Reach was more tightly written. More tension.. Great read. Well done Mr Moore... More please.
Teritree001971at More than 1 year ago
CLOSE REACH tells the story Dean and Kelly as they are sailing their boat in the Antarctic region, while rebuilding their lives. They live on the boat and stop at different ports for supplies. Along the way, they meet others and at times, help strangers who soon become friends. The community of sailors usually know each other, as in this area of the world, there are few of them. As this short story opens, we are given a glimpse of Kelly as she lies in bed thinking of a curious radio call they'd heard the day before. The girl had been screaming about something coming, then rock and roll takes it's place. It's the last thing they hear from them. It's the last thing they hear on the radio for once the music stops, it is replaced by static. Even though the story mostly occurs on the sea, you have no problem understanding as the author has worked the details into the story. The places, the workings of ships they are all delineated to make the story more believable, yet it is not boring. From start to finish, the story captures your attention and keeps you wondering just what is going on here. What is going on here? In the end, you're left wondering whether or not you would do the same under the same circumstances. Just who is the criminal when everyone does the same thing? Warning, if you don't like violent stories you may want to skip this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What I said!