Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 16, 2013)
Kindle: 2684 KB
Complimentary review copy
Available on Amazon
Action-Packed Heist Novel
This is a great weekend read. The book takes it's title, Tampa Star, from the name of a cruise ship that was converted to a casino and is carrying a million dollars worth of gold coins on its maiden voyage. Of course it is a prime target to get robbed. But that's really just the McGuffin.
The first half of the book, which is set in the 1970s, introduces us to the players: a former Green Beret, an ex-con bank robber and his cousin and partner in crime, a former Mob boss in hiding, and the victim - the owner of the ship.
By an incredible stroke of luck, the ship sinks in storm right after the robbery, and no one even knows a crime was committed. Until 30 plus years later, when the Green Beret's son, himself also a soldier, starts searching for his dad. Secrets are uncovered, and suddenly the son finds himself on the run from people who still want that gold.
I really enjoyed this book! It's full of action and brimming with testosterone. I felt a bit like I was reading W.E.B. Griffin, specially at the start. The author also did great at setting the 1970s ambience in the first half of the book. But what I liked best was how he introduced each character - they all had their own action-packed back-story. Great pacing too.
What I did not like was the dialogue - some of it felt stilted and unnatural, and there were some problems with missing quotation marks. There were also a few wrong words that would not have been caught by spell-check (like "shear" instead of "sheer"). But I was having so much fun reading the story that I was okay just ignoring those.
This is not a clean read - the sleazy characters are very sleazy, and there are some explicit, but short, sex scenes.
Tampa Star has a proper ending, not a cliff-hanger, but if you liked it as much as I did you'll be happy to know that there are two more books in the Blackfox Chronicles: Starfish Prime and Mudd's Luck .
Reviewed by VM on Month DD, YEAR