Key West Bounce: A Jack Marsh Action Thriller by Mike Pettit
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Key West Bounce is one of a series of books in the Jack Marsh Action Thriller. I think it is the second book, "Smackdown" being the first and I don't know if any more are planned in the future but my guess would be "yes" since two books make for a very limited series plus the ending of this book hints at another thrilling adventure of the main character, Jack Marsh. The reason I am making you aware of this is because I did not read the first book so my review is on "Key West Bounce" as a stand alone book.
Jack Marsh is the owner of the Sand Bar in Key West. Jack being an honest man is offered a side job that will either be the death of him or make him very rich. Maybe it was due to his past Marine experience in Kuwait and Baghdad that keeps him wanting some sort of adrenaline rush from danger or maybe it is as simple as pure greed but Jack chooses to take the side job of finding and bringing out some sunken gold from the Florida Straits. He knew it would not be an easy job because of the Cuban DGI and others would claim the gold as theirs and have no problem killing him for it.
The author, Mike Pettit, gives a gradual introduction to the main character and the major plus minor characters. I thought the characters were well developed and this was not done all at once which would have boggled down the story with all these details. Instead, the background of the characters were worked into the story at the appropriate time giving just enough information to make sense of what was going on at the time. Although there were a lot of characters throughout the story those that played minor roles were not developed to such detail that it filled pages of unnecessary information about their backgrounds. Again, the author provided just enough information on them to make sense of their roles in the story without bogging it down.
Usually the beginning of a story where the introductions to the characters and the setting is described is a slow spot in the book and at times boring but that is not the case here. I was never bored or really found any stalling of the story. It always progressed forward and that usually meant someone was about to kill or be killed (or at least try). There was enough kidnapping, killing, stranding, beating, and betrayal to satisfy my action craving. The story itself was a fast-moving, action packed adventure. (Can we hope for a movie or TV miniseries?)
The settings were described in such detail that it felt like I was there and watching the action taking place. I am not talking about just one major event lost among the pages, I mean that with just about every turn of the page something was going on. Some of it was serious in that it was a matter of life and death and many did die, but at times it was amusing with some of these characters and their actions. I really had to laugh at the way the cook fished and the feast he prepared. It was believable at most points as there really could have been sunken treasure (still can be) and adding to that believability was the fact that the author mixed real history with it. I did notice a few editing errors however, they were not that distracting.
At no time did I feel I was at a disadvantage by not reading the other book in the series. Key West Bounce does stand on its own and I highly recommend it.
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