I guess you could label this a character-driven novel. Johnny is witty, down to earth, and just a little bit vain about his appearance. He also tells us a lot about life on the Gulf of Florida. Johnny lives on his boat in a marina on the west coast of Florida. While piloting a sailboat for a client from Sarasota to his marina, he and his crew come across an abandoned sailboat way offshore. The boat is empty and the owner of the boat, Tom McNeil, is missing.
Johnny is determined to find out if Tom has been kidnapped by a drug dealers, has run off, or has drowned in an accident. He meets a reporter covering the case, Maria, and together with an ex-cop and friend Lonnie they try to figure out Tom's disappearance.
Amiable, chatty, with a humorous outlook on life, Johnny introduces us to his world of sailboats, races, the sailing community, the west coast of Florida, and the pleasures of living fulltime on a boat. We also find out about why he left the corporate world in New York City and headed south for a more laid-back lifestyle.
"Once inside, Terra Ceia (Bay)is a miniature tropical paradise. A boat is well protected from winds in almost every direction. There are no stores or marinas or restaurants. It is just a quite piece of heaven and a wonderful place to be with friends." (p. 136)
As a subplot, Johnny helps his father reveal a secret kept hidden for fifty years. In the end, the would-be sleuth Johnny gets into the action by helping the police nab the culprits, while also winning the affections of the fetching Maria. I gave this very enjoyable book, a good read for summer, 4 out of 5 stars, on Goodreads.
Book provided by the author, for my objective review.