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Seasons spotted the squall, too. I could tell by the worried look on his face. Having a client who has fished the Gulf Coast for many years is usually a good thing, but there are disadvantages. I tried to reassure him by raising my voice over the noise of the wind. Calder-Shaun, a New York attorney. She sat to my right, Mr. Seasons to my left, both of them gripping their seats as if on a toboggan that had hit a patch of ice.
Beside me, Mr. Now it had happened. Soon my eyes were tearing, vision fluttering because of speed and washboard waves. It took some effort to check engine gauges that confirmed oil and water pressure were just fine, with plenty of throttle left if needed.
Doing forty-plus, we dodged hedges of mangroves where pelicans roosted on leeward branches, then crossed a channel into water so shallow that white herons flushed ahead of us, a flock of spoonbills, too, feathers pink as rose petals in the storm-bruised light. Normally, I would have turned southwest, toward the main channel.
Books by Randy Wayne White and Complete Book Reviews
But the storm was already there, picking up speed, dragging tentacles of rain across Sanibel Island. So I turned north toward what looked like a shard of mainland, it was so tightly joined by swamp and trees. From Mr. It was true, there were hundreds of gulls and terns hunkered together in an inch of water, creating a line that fringed the island. The man muttered something and got a fresh grip on his seat.
To my right, Ms. Calder-Shaun sat with eyes closed, then surprised me by wrapping her arm around my leg. She was scared, we were the only women on the boat, and I was a little scared myself. When we were fifty yards from what looked like a wall of mangrove trees, I prepared them for what happened next. We did make it, skating over two sandbars, my engine geysering water into a cloud of yapping birds before I got the boat trimmed, then steered us through an opening in the trees not much wider than my skiff.
What a change those few seconds made! We exited the storm into a river of glassy water, branches creating a tunnel of silence and shadows that rocked in our wake as we boiled past. I followed the tunnel to the left. Then we broke free of the trees, after jumping one last bar, and the sun cleared the towering clouds at the same instant, so it was like the storm had never existed. I knew better, of course. But the tricky part was over. Beside me, I heard Ms. Seasons was staring at me in the way wealthy people sometimes do when appraising an employee, his eyes penetrating and as unemotional as a calculator.
Now was not the time to say anything boastful, I decided, but it was tempting. Instead, I pointed to a ridge of oysters exposed by the low tide. Marking the bar were six plastic milk bottles tied to stakes. Not many folks use this cut anymore. Something nice is, every Christmas someone sticks a casuarina pine on that bar and decorates it with seashells and stuff.
Seasons said to Ms. Her Uncle Jake guided me for years, before he died—plus that other work I told you about. More interesting to me was that Mr. We were soon running parallel the oyster bar, following milk jugs, water on both sides not deep enough to cover my ankles. A few minutes later, we were north of Chino Island. I had planned on cutting west toward Captiva Island, where Mr.
Seasons lives on a five-acre estate, but the odds were against us once again. Half a mile away, I could see a tin-roofed cabin built on stilts, standing lonely as a stork in shallow water, a mile from the nearest land. We did, but only by a minute or two. Throttle backing, I stood with one hand on the wheel, the other holding an anchor, as we approached what would soon be the leeward side of the shack.
Not until we were a few boat lengths away did I reduce speed, then dropped the anchor, playing out line, after punching us into idle so we continued toward the dock.
A Hannah Smith Novel Series
Seasons said, but he was watching the squall charging us, only a hundred yards away. Rain was loud as a mountain river and getting louder. Calder-Shaun my hand, then helped her onto the dock.
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Soon, both clients were sitting beneath a waterfall that blurred the world around us, but they were snug and dry inside the stilthouse, where I was lighting a Coleman stove to make coffee. When the coffee was ready, I poured them each a mug, then stood outside beneath the breezeway so they could have their privacy. After a while, when the rain had slacked, I returned to check on the two.
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Seasons was looking at Ms. But I thought it was better to keep my mouth shut, so I pretended to want more coffee. The man was nodding as I stepped toward the stove, then caught me off guard by including me in the conversation. Just me, Martha has to fly home for the day. The man exchanged looks with Martha, his New York attorney.
Seasons replied, then said nothing more about it. Considering all that happened afterward, good and bad, I have no reason to regret beating that storm. Only hope for what comes next. Mother was heavy on my mind the next morning. Not a house, really. Thank goodness, it was only an hour after sunrise when I discovered what that addled woman had done.
I was on the dock, making sure my skiff had enough fuel for the trip to Mr.
Old Arlis loves to talk, and I had things to do, but it peeves me when men confuse lying with flirting. Except to her, maybe, but you might be right. Hannah Three in her coffin is probably prettier than me and all the rest of us put together. There have been four Hannah Smiths in our family, which Arlis knows better than most, so there was no need to explain. My aunt was a pretty woman, and more than a tad wild, which is common knowledge. Unfortunately, that was about it—until a few years ago, anyway, when my body began showing some of her other assets as well.
Tell the truth, now. I was about to suggest this to Arlis by inquiring about his recent double bypass, but the man slipped the hook by staring over my shoulder, with a weird expression on his face, like an image of Jesus had just materialized in the sunrise clouds behind me. But her spelling used to be better. Arlis was still laughing. There was one less pyramid now, which was the main reason Loretta was mad enough to combine her painting skills with her knowledge of profanity—neither top-notch, which her only daughter was now ready to confess in a court of law.
Arlis had been bitten by an animal of some sort a while back—a giant reptile, he claimed—and never missed a chance to rub his wound to remind people he had survived.
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I was still gaping at the stuff Loretta had written. The sentences were neatly spaced, I had to admit, and easy to read even from a long distance because Day-Glo orange is like a magnet to the eye. Could be your mamma learned them in the cradle. I was jest reading something about that: parents got this computer program, recites foreign words to their sleeping babies. Loretta pushed a wall of tension ahead of her that had a brittleness like glass. It made my stomach knot and set off an alarm in my ears. That paint cost your Uncle Jake four dollars a can, and I was up writing past midnight!
Not that you care. Or that I hurt my ankle real bad when I slipped off that damn ladder. Aquamarine can be nice, too—so blame your uncle for his poor taste in paint, not me. Never did. Never will. Now Mr. His new series has them all--and then some.
When a girl goes missing, and the resourceful Hannah is asked to find her, a violent end may be more than she bargained for. Additional Details Series Volume Number. But in his newest thriller, Gone , he gives us Hannah Smith, a gutsy new heroine to root for, and a plot that crackles with the electricity of a Florida thunderstorm. Gone won't be long forgotten. Show More Show Less.
Add to Cart. Any Condition Any Condition. See all Compare similar products. You Are Viewing. Show less Show more. Ratings and Reviews Write a review. Most relevant reviews. I love the writer just haven't started the book I bought the book because it is the writers newest release I haven't read it yet. Rowling , Hardcover. Outlander 1 by Diana Gabaldon Paperback, It is also slated to be razed and replaced by condos, unless Hannah Smith can do something about it.
Review: Randy Wayne White gets in touch with feminine side — sort of — in 'Gone'
She's been hired by a wealthy Palm Beach widow to prove that the house's seller didn't disclose everything he knew about the place when he unloaded it, including its role in a bloody Civil War skirmish in which two of Hannah's own distant relations had had a part , and the suicides - or were they murders? A fishing guide and part-time investigator, Hannah Smith is a tall, strong Florida woman descended from many generations of the same.
But the problem before her now is much older even than that. Five hundred years ago, Spanish conquistadors planted the first orange seeds in Florida, but now the whole industry is in trouble. The trees are dying at the root, weakened by infestation and genetic manipulation, and the only solution might be somehow, somewhere, to find samples of the original root stock. Hannah Smith 4 books in series.
Gone Publisher's Summary.