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The Blood Red Sea    by Ron Faust order for
Blood Red Sea
by Ron Faust
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2005 (2005)

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* * *   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

Dan Shaw hates practicing law, so he turns his few pending cases over to a friend and takes to the high seas in his sloop Roamer. Dan does fine alone on his boat until one night a naked, nearly dead woman enters his world. It seems a miracle that Kate is alive after being in the sea for twenty-six hours.

Dan believes her when she first pleads amnesia, and then reluctantly confesses that her husband, powerful Cesar Cardinal, deliberately tossed her overboard from their yacht. Cardinal is a rich playboy and diplomat who, Kate says, wants her money and their son Antonio. Cardinal reports his wife's disappearance as a suicide to the news media. Shaw takes Kate to the island resort of a friend where she recuperates. He then pull strings to get her into the United States even though she doesn't have a passport.

From there, Shaw and his friends get Kate back to her Virginia family, who were planning a memorial honoring her death at sea. The memorial turns into a celebration of life and who shows up to celebrate? Cesar Cardinal. From this point things get a little wacky. One of Shaw's friends goes off to kidnap little Antonio. Cardinal talks Kate into a reconciliation and Shaw goes abroad again, this time to find Antonio and his kidnapper.

This is a page turner, in which a reader must follow the plot lines closely to keep ahead of the writer as he leads Shaw to doubt himself and Kate. Faust's vivid word pictures - of Shaw's solitary life at sea, the slowly evolving romance, the tranquility of an island resort, and the frustration of a man in love attempting to discover truth from fiction - are spectacular. Adventure fans will love The Blood Red Sea (note that Faust also wrote Dead Men Rise Up and Sea of Bones).

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