When young Irishman, Conor Rogan, arrives in Miami to captain Bob Castagna’s charter yacht, he soon attracts the attention of his beautiful wife, Eva, and his shy yet equally seductive stepdaughter, Abi. When he is framed for the killing of a local Cuban crime lord on a voyage to the Bahamas, Conor suddenly finds himself on the run from both the Miami Police who want him for murder, and the Cuban’s two vicious sons who seek to exact a brutal revenge for their father’s death.
A stranger in a foreign land, Conor endures torture and violence as he races against time to clear his name. Left with no other choice, he must turn to the only two people who believe him: Rita, a beautiful young Cuban woman he has just begun a relationship with, and his brother-in-law, Danny, a violent ex-IRA man living in Florida.
With the clock ticking, Conor’s journey leads him from the exotic Bahamas to the streets of Miami and Fort Lauderdale and then out into the unforgiving Florida Everglades before reaching its violent and bloody conclusion.
* * *
When Conor regained full awareness it was with a loud gasp. A bucket of ice-cold water was thrown over him and the greasy cloth sack removed from his head by someone standing behind. He was bound to an old wooden chair with silver duct tape, his ankles fixed to its front legs, his hands still handcuffed behind his back. The dead officer’s blood and gristle was stinging his eyes, caked in his hair and dried into his face and chest.
‘What’s going on?’ he gasped, spitting out water. ‘Who’s there?’
Silence. As his eyes adjusted, he cast his gaze around the room in an effort to face his captors. One was behind, the other standing in the shadows just out of view to his right. He quickly scanned his surroundings; saw he was in a dark, filthy basement with a metal door just barely visible to his left and a small window beyond it in the far corner. It was too high to reach, he decided, and probably too small to climb through even if he could. The bare flickering bulb overhead gave off a dull yellow glow, but in the half-light, he could just make out something moving on the floor about ten feet in front of him. It puzzled him for a second or two. Curious, he squinted his eyes and leaned forward to see what it was, only to emit a loud, terrified scream as a ferocious-looking alligator lunged from the shadows and snapped its razor-sharp teeth within inches of his feet.
SEA FEVER by John Masefield
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.