Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tricky Business

By Dave Barry

Extravaganza of the Seas is a cruise ship whose main purpose is to deliver drugs to organized crime boss, Lou Tarrant. Its cover is that of a floating casino, taking its passengers out beyond the three mile limit and out of the jurisdiction of the government.
Wally and his band members have a steady job performing on the ship. These guys, all competent musicians, have never hit the big time, to their disappointment. Wally has recently left his wife and moved in with his mom. He feels like his life is going nowhere good.
Fay also works on the ship as a cocktail waitress. Like Wally, she is also struggling and coping with life after marriage. She too has moved in with her mother.
Bobby Kemp is a sleazy businessman who owns the ship, but in name only. He purchased the ship, thinking it was a good investment. But then mobster Lou Tarrant muscled in on Bobby, revealing the true purpose of the trips out to the three mile limit, the transfer of money and drugs. In fact Tarrant muscled in on all Bobby's questionable businesses and this has made Bobby very unhappy. So unhappy that he has come up with a plan, a plan that he will put in force on a night when the Extravaganza of the Seas sails off into a dangerous tropical storm, loaded with its usual complement of devoted gamblers, Wally and the band, Fay the cocktail waitress and two old guys who have escaped from their retirement home. A good time will not be had by all.

This was a very entertaining story, although at one point I put it down when it got a little too gruesome for me. Lots of action, lots of humor, complicated plot and a satisfying ending add up to a very enjoyable read, except for that one really nasty part.
For another review see http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-399-14924-5.

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