FloatersBook - 1996
With the America's Cup sailing regattas coming to San Diego, water cops Mickey Fortney and his partner, Leeds, have their hands full with international yacht fans, tourists, con artists, and a gorgeous redhead who leads them along a bizarre criminal trail to murder
Blackwell North Amer
Mick Fortney and his partner Leeds manage to cruise above the standard police stress-pools of coffee and Pepto-Bismol - they're water cops in the "Club Harbor Unit," manning a patrol boat on San Diego's Mission Bay. A typically rough day's detail consists of scoping out body-sculpted beauties on pleasure craft, rescuing boating bozos who've run aground, jeering at lifeguards, and hauling in the occasional floater who comes to the surface.
But now their days are anything but typical, because the America's Cup international sailing regattas have come to town and suddenly San Diego is swarming with yacht crazies of every nationality, the cuppies who want to love them, and the looky-loo tourists, racing spies, scam artists, and hookers who all want their piece of the action. It's the outstanding body and jaunty smile - full of mischief, full of hell - of one cuppie, a particularly fiery redhead named Blaze, that gets Leeds and Fortney's attention. First Leeds drowns in frustratingly unrequited boozy love from afar. Then, with her increasingly odd behavior, Blaze tweaks every one of their cop instincts, alerting them that something's not quite right on the waterfront.
Indeed, Blaze will soon lead leggy Detective Anne Zorn and Mick Fortney along a bizarre criminal trail that would be hilarious if it didn't wind up just as nasty as it gets, with a pair of murders right on the eve of the biggest sailing race of all.
With the America's Cup sailing regattas coming to San Diego, water cops Mickey Fortney and his partner, Leeds, have their hands full with international yacht fans, tourists, con artists, and a gorgeous redhead who leads them along a bizarre criminal trail to murder.
From the critics
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The sun was about to set and guests waited, hoping for the green flash. It was caused when an atmospheric change in air density created a bending of the light when it crosses from cool to warm, as in a giant prism. Blue and green refract more than red and yellow, the blue scattering more vigorously, and if the green is properly positioned, the red fireball may permit a magnified rim of burning emerald as it drops into the sea. Hence, the green flash. Ambrose had heard of the Scottish legend that promised love and eternal happiness to all who sighted the green flash. It was a lovely thought.
"Even though lots of political leaders had crack-pot spouses. People like Abe Lincoln, Ferdinand Marcos, Nelson Mandela, Hillary Clinton."
Fortney said, "Don't let it ruin your appetite, Junior. When you get to be my age, life is just food and drink and lots of bed rest Everything else is footnotes."
Johnson outboards were no match. When the cigarette boat got past the jetty, it turned toward Imperial Beach and was gone. "Like a dachshund chasing a whippet," Fortney said.
Norman G. "Letch" Boggs was one of those middle-aged cops immune to sexual-harassment complaints. Letch was short, bald, lardy at the hips, with the muscle tone of a bruised banana. He smelled worse than a Beastie Boys concert because he consumed more garlic than Sicily. He loved it roasted, fried, sauteed, raw. He ate tomato-mayonnaise-and-raw-garlic sandwiches that made people want to puke just watching him. Convinced that garlic retarded aging and enhanced potency, Letch claimed he'd get garlic withdrawal if ever he missed a day. So he didn't.
"He swings like one of Jerry's kids," Fortney said. "Get him a telethon. Tonight he'll be in the cabin with palms up staring at a crystal pyramid and listening to Yanni. I've seen chimps better dressed on the David Letterman show."
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