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The sea has inspired exceptional art, marvelous music, and the finest of literature. It is a thing of great beauty. It is also powerful and unforgiving. And it hides the darkest of secrets. Sometimes the water takes note of a small thing—a dumb little decision, a stupid bit of showing off—and it changes lives forever.
Sim Greene is a fine companion and a gifted detective. A semi-devout bachelor in his late thirties, he lives in Channel Islands Harbor aboard Figaro, a 39-foot sailboat. He surfs when he likes, sails whenever he can, and loves a woman who is way out of his league. His best friend, Al Higgins, is a retired Navy Seal who lives on his own boat two slips over.
“Close-Hauled” is the first book in the Sim Greene / Figaro Mystery series. It introduces Sim as a Chief Petty Officer with twenty years in the US Navy as a Master-at-Arms and Al as his retired-but-still-dangerous friend.
Sim enjoys his job but is hoping to be approved for officer training to boost his career and maybe land a slot in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Assigned to investigate the death of a retired Navy Lieutenant—something usually reserved for NCIS—Sim finds himself tangled in something much larger and far darker than a simple murder. Soon, the things he loves and the people he cares about are all at risk. Al is drawn into the situation and the two must use their wits and skills to survive. One false move and the spider web they’ve stumbled into will ruin their lives. Or end them.
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“Crime novels are my guilty pleasure, and CLOSE-HAULED delivers all of the pleasure but none of the guilt. A smart thriller that makes me wish I weren’t afraid to sail.” — Cheri Pray Earl, co-author of A Dangerous Day in Georgia
“CLOSE-HAULED is such a vivid and action-packed tale, I felt sand between my toes and bruises on my ribs. I had to keep checking to be sure it hadn’t been written by Clive Cussler or Harlan Coben.” — Dave Butler, author of The Kidnap Plot
“With the introduction of Sim Greene, a maritime shamus joins the ranks of Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade.” — Wes Clark, co-author of Lost Burbank
“A mystery neatly combining sailing, suspense, love and murder. I was hooked from the beginning and never predicted the ending. Avery delivers the goods!” — B. Robert Boulton