Opinions on books and other media - popular or not.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Deadly Silver Sea

So Bob Morris has caught the terrorism virus. 

More and more writers are including a terrorist angle in at least one book in their ongoing series.   And yes, I do understand that it is the main news topic these days, but that is my very problem with it.

"I want music in the music, I want chicken in the soup, I want caffeine in my system*" .....and I want murder and mystery in my murder mysteries.

If I want the latest terrorist threat I’ll watch channel 14 news (or open a Clive Cussler novel).

A Deadly Silver Sea is Bob Morris’ 4th Zach Chasteen novel.  In the first three (Bahamarama, Jamaica Me Dead, Bermuda Schwartz ) we are introduced to Zach – best described by his past (former NFL player, former federal prison Inmate (now fully pardoned)), Boggy (his right hand man – a Taino Indian from the Islands, Barbara (who is too good for him but at least he knows it) and the palm trees (his family legacy) while he works his way out of several improbable situations while staying true to himself,  helping those that deserve it and having a romping tropical good time.

However, in this outing, Zach takes on the munitinous staff of a cruise ship that are being played like puppets by an Islamic terrorist pulling the strings.  

The setting is just too large for the cast and we don’t even see or hear of Boggy until the last few pages and Barbara is not able to do much, having gone into pre-mature labor by page 35.

The writing style for the first half is jumpy and quite honestly, a bit boring.  It’s not until Zach falls overboard that we get to see the types of characters and situations that normally make a Bob Morris story so entertaining. 

I didn’t start to care about this book until meeting the former Priest and Nun who had fallen in love and their boatload of Haitian refugees and the Voodoo Priestess that thinks Chasteen is a loa in human form. 

In short, this book does not live up to the other three, but much like a football team coming back to the field after a disastrous first half to do what they can to come back and win in the second, Morris makes a valiant effort to score some points at the end.

Morris was simply over reaching for most of the story.  He is a much better story-teller when keeping it all closely tied to Chasteeen and his portion of the world and not trying to have Zach save the rest of it.

Bob Morris has written a 5th book for the series, Baja Florida, which from the reviews I’ve read, sounds much more in keeping with the series and I am looking forward to reading soon.

+++Zach wiggling his naked bum at some refugees is about as sexy as the book gets.  Barbara gives birth, and if you are not fond of non-traditional baby name choices, what they name their new daughter might be upsetting.  I found it cute, and very Zach.+++

*Jimmy Buffett - "What If The Hokey Pokey Is All It Really Is About?"

In personal news:  My daughter, to my dismay, has never been one for reading much of anything (just some histories) and tends to turn her nose up at fiction in general.
However, today she picked up James Patterson’s 2nd Chance as I was returning it to the library and got hooked by the second page.  Leave it to her to start a series with the second book though!

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