I have just signed another contract with Second Wind Publishing for my new novel, Murder Sets Sail. My first book with them, a murder mystery, was The Telephone Killer.
There is no mystery in this novel. The reader knows from the very beginning who the murderers are and who they intend to kill.
Chris doesn’t know when he charters his sail boat to George Harris for a three-month cruise to Tahiti and other South Pacific islands that George plans to high-jack his boat.
George needs the boat to rendezvous with a sailboat out of Hong Kong carrying a hundred kilos of China White. One week out of Honolulu George commandeers the boat and heads West to rendezvous with the other boat.
After the heroin is transferred at the rendezvous and two accomplices come aboard from the other boat, George shoots one of them for having tried to double cross him while they were still in Honolulu. The Hong Kong boat is scuttled and it is obvious that the owner of that boat was killed before they ever got to the rendezvous.
George makes it clear that the only reason Chris is still alive is on the chance they are approached by the Coast Guard as they get back into Hawaiian waters. It would not do for the Coast Guard to find a boat without its owner aboard. George warns Chris that if he tries to notify the Coast Guard in any way about what’s going on aboard the boat, Myra will be killed.
Knowing that George intends to kill both Myra and him after they transfer again, this time to a powerboat that will take it to one of the Hawaiian Islands. Chris works on a plan for them to slip over the side and hopefully be able to make it to land.
Following is a short excerpt from
Murder Sets Sail
George leaned forward with his elbows on his knees, his hands clasped in front of him. “Max,” he said, “How would you like to go sailing?”
Max smiled. “I was hoping I’d be included in this operation, whatever it is.”
“Did you know Larry was in Hong Kong?”
“I knew he was out of town, I didn’t know where he was.”
“And he didn’t know where you were. I didn’t want anybody to know any more than was necessary. I still don’t. The fewer people know, the less talk there will be. The less talk there is, the less chance of anyone saying anything they shouldn’t to someone who shouldn’t know anything about it. But I’ll tell you this much now that you are in it. We are going to bring in the biggest one-time shipment this organization has ever seen. I’ll give you all the details tomorrow.”
George got up and went into the den and came back with a large general chart of the Pacific. “Larry located a boat in Hong Kong,” George said sitting down and spreading out the chart. “An Englishman is looking for a crew to help him sail to Hawaii. I want you to take the Hong Kong boat. I’ll take the Jamison boat. You pick up the stuff in Hong Kong and meet me right here.” He jabbed his finger down in the middle of the chart and then looked more closely to where his finger had landed. “There isn’t anything within seven, eight hundred miles of here,” he said pointing to Midway to the east, Wake Island to the south, and Marcus Island to the west. “After you and the stuff transfer to my boat we sink the other one. That way if anyone in Hong Kong is trying to collect an informer’s fee, the boat they are looking for won’t be anywhere around.
“Now you shouldn’t have any trouble with the Englishman. James Harris is his name. He’s going to be sailing generally the same direction you want to go. If you have to kill him once you clear Hong Kong, well—“ he paused spreading his hands, “but you may want to keep him around until we meet just to stand watches and such. But if he gives you any trouble, kill him.”
He paused for a moment counting off the longitudes lines. “You’ve got about a three thousand-mile-trip. The winds aren’t the best going that direction this time of year, so let’s give you forty-five days to the rendezvous. Let’s say five to seven days to get everything lined-up and we’ll aim to meet on March the fifteenth. I don’t have as long a trip but I have to make arrangements in Honolulu for getting it ashore. If either one of us gets to the rendezvous ahead of time, sail around up here and then head back down for the meeting. If for any reason either one of us is late, we’ll wait until the other one gets there. I’m taking Steve Margolis with me. Who do you want to go with you?”
Max looked at the open beams of the ceiling for a moment and then answered, “Larry, I guess. Since he’s already been to Hong Kong.”
“Good choice,” George said standing up. “Now the first thing you want to do—” he paused, “Is your passport in order?”
“Good. Pick up Larry. He’s at Tony’s Bar. Get down to the consulate for your visas. Larry tells me they can give it to you while you wait. I don’t know if he needs another one or not, but take him along anyway just in case he needs it stamped for reentry or something. Make your flight reservations. Pay for everything from now on in cash,” he said holding out an envelope filled with money. “I don’t want any kind of paper or credit trail. Be sure Larry knows that. You’re in charge of the Hong Kong end of things. If you need money when you’re there, World Trading is authorized to give you whatever you ask for. Take Larry’s credit cards away from him if you have to and both of you be here at 10 tomorrow morning. Steve will be here then too. We’ll go over the final details then.”
Copyright © 2013 by Paul J. Stam
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