(Avon, ISBN 978-0380711550)
Jeff Jackson, J.W. to his friends, is living a quiet, rather idyllic life on Martha's Vineyard. Retired to his father's old cottage on the island after a shooting left him, in his prime, with a bullet lodged just a bit too close to his spine, he spends his days fishing, selling his catch for some extra money, having a cold beer from time to time and whipping up some tasty dinners like a nice scallops St. Jacques with a loaf of homemade bread and maybe some snap peas from his garden. He even smokes his own freshly caught fish in the backyard.
"I was having breakfast- smoked bluefish, red onion, and cream cheese on a toasted bagel, washed down with coffee- on the porch with the sun coming up over the Sound. The way God intended Man to live."Add in that he has just met a very nice nurse on the beach who is happy for some surf-casting tips and appreciates his cooking and he is one pretty content man.
Or so it would seem until, as they are fishing on the beach one morning, a boat explodes just off shore, killing one man and injuring the son of one of his fishing buddies. When it seems that drugs may be involved, and a young girl asks for his help for her brother, JW just can't stop those old cop instincts from kicking in. To tourists, Martha's Vineyard may seem like a paradise, but it seems that even paradise has a seamy underside and JW will soon be in the thick of it.
In this, the first in Craig's Martha's Vineyard series, we are treated to an all around good story. A great setting (hmmm..I have mentioned that I enjoy books set by the ocean, haven't I?), a couple of clever, charming characters in J.W. and his new girlfriend Zee, a solid plot, a nice little mystery with a few unexpected twists and I am a happy camper. Throw in a bit of surf fishing for bluefish, a few recipes, some literary allusions and some ideas for building your own backyard smoker from found parts and I think I really have to check out the rest of this series.