The Color of Greed
Raja Williams Series, Book 1
A twenty-five foot cruiser floated idly next to the dock at the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, just north of Seal Beach on the Southern California coast. A recent storm in the Pacific had churned up enough sea to send choppy waves now and again into the bay. As the boat rocked up on a wave, the name Maid Marion flashed momentarily into view in the moonlight. The sound of two voices interspersed with giggles echoed from below deck.
A tan young man and a cute girl in shorts and a halter top were making out on the curved bed in the boat’s lower cabin. As he heated up, the young man made his move to climb on top of the girl. Realizing where things were headed, the girl straightened her arms between them and managed to break his grip momentarily.
“Darryl, are you sure no one will see us out here? What if someone comes along? I don’t feel safe on this boat.”
“Are you kidding? It’s just like a house on the water. We are completely alone, Sandy. Trust me.” Those two words were uttered countless times by a boy to a girl to invoke favor from the gods of love. Darryl’s hopes that they would work yet again soared when Sandy smiled, untied her top and dropped it onto the floor. The two resumed their fevered grappling until a loud thud echoed in the cabin followed by an unpleasant scraping sound. Darryl ignored the interruption twice and pressed on, but when it happened a third time, Sandy’s eyes bugged wide and her body stiffened.
Darryl knew then he would have to deal with whatever was making the horrible sound.
“What was that?” said Sandy, right on cue, reaching for her top.
“Wait here,” ordered Darryl, impatiently. He was halfway to the stairs. “I’ll be right back.” He thought it was probably a tourist who hadn’t secured his boat well enough. A couple of quick knots and he’d be back for business. Darryl climbed up to the deck and peered around. The thump repeated behind him. He turned and saw a forty-foot sports yacht scraping against the seaward side of the dock. It was an Azimut 40, high-end luxury and nicer than most, and there didn’t appear to be anyone on board. The edge of the hull screeched loudly as the boat pushed itself outward. Darryl hopped onto the dock and ran toward the boat that now drifted ten feet away.
“Hello? Anyone on board?” he shouted, listening in between for any sign of life. Nothing. When the boat drifted back toward the dock again, he leaped onto the rear deck. “Hello,” he said, once more. There was no sign of anyone. As he searched in the pale moonlight for a line to tie the boat, something bumped into the back of his ankle. He jumped and let out a girlish yelp. It was only an orange mooring buoy that had rolled across the deck. Darryl laughed at himself, shook his head and continued searching until he found the dock line. He tied the back end of the boat to a cleat on the dock, and then went below to look around.
Meanwhile Sandy managed to get her top back on and came up on deck just in time to see Darryl ducking into the interior of the derelict yacht. She pulled on her sneakers and hopped onto the dock and from there to the rear deck of the other boat. She noticed the yacht’s name Clarice painted in cursive on the back panel. Several gruesome scenes from the movie The Silence of the Lambs flashed into her head. Sandy shivered involuntarily and decided not to follow Darryl below deck. Feeling safer in the open air, she climbed up to the overhead flybridge. There was a sundeck behind a control panel full of dials. She noticed a rumpled piece of canvas along the railing. When she pulled one edge to move it out of her way, the canvas shifted and a man’s body rolled out and flopped on its back in the center of the deck. The face was bloody and had no eyes. Sandy screamed.
The Ultimate Detective Story
This is the first detective story I’ve read by Jack Thompson. It reminds me of the old time radio shows where the private detective comes to the aid of a woman; in this case, a recent widow. The author doesn’t waste any words and neither does a good detective put his feet up on his desk. It’s time for action, and that is what the novel offers. Detective Raja Williams speeds to the west coast at the call of new client, Clarice Hope. Her husband, Randy, had been found dead on the topside of his yacht that had drifted into a harbor in the dark of night. The police have no evidence of foul play, but Clarice is sure the he’s been murdered. Vinnie is Raja’s assistant and researcher who keeps him informed and supplied with techie equipment as if he were Agent 007. Right from the beginning of Raja’s investigation, his pride and joy classic vehicle, 1966 Alpha Romeo Duetta, has the brake lines cut and careens off a cliff right after Raja safely bails out. Raja and Vinnie, with the support of the LAPD, delve deep into more deaths and political deception. An aggressive story for the reader to embrace. The story is ‘catnip’ for the readers who love detective stories. Detective Williams and Author Jack Thompson have achieved success.
I loved it!
…I don’t want to give too much away but wow. I just loved Raja and his partner Vinny they are a perfect pair they complement each other well. This book had me from chapter one and I couldn’t put it do down. It’s fast paced, full of action, and dripping with mystery. The characters are well developed you have a great idea who they are and they are portrayed well. This book is packed full of twists and turns that keep you guessing through the whole book. I really enjoyed the concept of which Raja is he’s not your typical detective but reminds me of Dick Tracy helping out the damsel in distress. A enjoyable read that has me wanting more. I can’t wait to read book two.
Exciting, Suspenseful, Deep Character, Thrilling
…I totally enjoyed reading this excellent mystery-suspense-thriller. Yes, I label it a thriller, because the plot twists and complications, as well as the intriguing characters, kept my attention on the story without lagging even for a moment. I’ve always enjoyed mysteries, but this novel has something special-a certain joie de vivre, perhaps; definitely a twisty plot, and characters that are well fleshed-out and mostly likeable (even the villains are comprehensible, and make no mistake, there is a plurality of villains). The writing is smooth and excellent, and I truly hope the author will make this a series with multiple entries.
Hard to Put Down
Gripping … Chock full of suspense and intrigue. The riveting conclusion, with it’s shocking revelations, will leave you spellbound. I can’t wait for the next book!
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