The Crow’s Nest
Chase Brenner, a hardworking man with two young children and a beautiful wife, works as an assistant engineer on the Bella, a two-hundred-foot-long tuna seiner. Fernando Cuervo, otherwise known as “El Cuervo” or “The Raven,” is the capo of one of Mexico’s most notorious criminal enterprises, La Hermandad. As a cover he owns a successful food distribution business and a profitable commercial fishing fleet. Unbeknownst to Brenner, the Bella is a part of that fleet. The two men live in seemingly disparate universes, yet their paths cross in countless acts of irony and fate.
When word reaches El Cuervo that one of his submarines carrying $85 million in Colombian cocaine has gone down, he orders his men to contact the captain of the Bella, Leo Garza, to aid in the retrieval of the bales. Garza, the only one onboard who knows of the cartel’s ownership of the fleet, informs his men they’ve been recruited to help apprehend some lost goods. Once the deed is done, the men onboard are brutally murdered, with the exception of Garza and Brenner, who is crammed into the bilge of the net skiff at the time of the onslaught. Garza soon becomes yet another casualty. Chase makes it to shore, and the realization that his life will be forever altered hits him like a ton of bricks. He changes his identity and is unable to go home in order to keep his family safe. As time passes, he teams up with Isosceles LeBeau, known as “Captain Jonny,” the designer and captain of the cartel’s submarines. After several close encounters and near-fatal experiences with El Cuervo’s deadliest, Brenner and Jonny mastermind a plan to turn many of his own against him.
The Crow’s Nest is a well-scripted, intriguing novel. Unexpected twists and turns are forever arising in the storyline, making the read a riveting and exuberant ride. Author Richard Meredith is crafty in his use of figurative language throughout, enhancing the content and allowing for rich imagery. For example, he describes the turbulence of the waters in the following excerpt: “Except for the whitecaps now crowning each wave, the sea was a frothing pewter cauldron.” Additionally, he does a truly respectable job of integrating a plethora of action, violence, and gore into his scenes without making his tale unnecessarily gruesome and profane. Some foul language is used, but only to convey necessary emotion and meaning and never carelessly or without thoughtful purpose. His style is clear and simple. A layman without extensive knowledge of the seas or of criminal enterprises and drug trade specifically should easily be able to comprehend The Crow’s Nest.
Meredith’s audience is relatively broad. An originally admirably innocent everyman with a family he loves is the protagonist of the story. On the other hand, his work also features characters who survive on grit, crime, power, and greed. This dichotomy is likely the element that will draw so many to his compelling story.
|Moonshine Cove Publishing LLC
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller