What’s a man to do after the Coast Guard shoots up his boat, sinks it, and leaves him for dead off the coast of Maine? In the 1920s, at the height of prohibition, options are limited. Emmett Dougal, fisherman and rumrunner, feels it best to put some distance between him and his recent past, returning to his Puget Sound roots to start afresh. But home isn’t what it used to be, and Emmett finds himself embroiled in adventures of love, larceny, and organized labor. Despite this best efforts, life as an honest fisherman doesn’t pay what it needs to, and Emmett finds himself tempted back into the dangerous trade of rum running. The local police and the feds may be at odds with each other, but both have an unhealthy interest in prohibition and the men who break the rules.
Short-listed for the 2017 Somerset Awards and the 2017 Foreword Book Review Awards.
Blaine Beveridge is an alumnus of The Writer’s Program at UCLA and a former Program Administrator for Film and Television at UCLA Extension. He served four years as an executive board officer of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. Blaine was also the Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army, Pacific, Leadership Academy (1972). He currently lives on an island in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and two, four-legged children Captain Bligh and Calliope.
Loved the setting, loved the core of the plot. Unfortunately for me it fell down from there and I think this novel could have used a couple more drafts. The author obviously has a love for the history of Puget Sound, as do I, and he did a lot of geographic research. The characters didn't get as much...there are many instances of slang and pop culture that wouldn't have been present yet in prohibition-era Seattle. I don't mind a little poetic license, but combined with the well researched geography, those bits of anachronism jarred me out of the story. Combined with some pacing issues, wooden characters and embarrassing dialog, I was disappointed in this novel, though it was redeemed from one-star DNF purgatory through the strength of plot and setting. Would like to read his next novel, after some of these issues have been addressed.
A big, rollicking, boisterous story that feels alternately like a moving train you've just hopped and a big old sweater you want to wrap yourself up in. A great book to disappear into. It's got a little bit of everything, adventure, drama, romance, action.... all neatly balanced in a voice that never gets in the way of the story. All in all, a great read and a very promising debut novel. If you like Lehane's "Coughlin" books, this book's for you.