The Night Charter by Sam Hawken

The Night Charter by Sam Hawken is a fun and entertaining book which I’ve read quite fast. It did help that it’s an action packed adventure-crime mystery novel, where the suspense is present every step of the way.

Camaro Espinoza has a boat called Annabel which she uses to run charter catch-and-release fishing trips off the Miami coast. She prefers to keep a low profile, going about her business and keeping only herself as company.

There is, however, a hint of her having been a tough cookie in her previous life in New York City as an Army combat medic, with a couple of bodies left behind when not healing people.

She is a straight arrow, regularly declining shady boat trips which might hint at an illegal business, until she meets Parker Story, a rather troubled guy who offers her a lot of money to book her and her boat do a bit more than just catch fish.

She does decline the money and the job initially, however when she learns that Parker has a young daughter, Lauren, who is relying on him to take care of her and bring food to the table, especially considering Parkers’ unlucky past, Camaro — despite knowing that it’s wrong and dangerous to do so — accepts the job to take him and a few other guys close to the coast of Cuba for some unknown business to do a bit of night smuggling.

Of course it doesn’t help the fact that Camaro feels a sort of connection to Parker, strong enough to bring him for one night to her place for a romp in the sheets.

What she doesn’t realize is that the person they have to smuggle to the US is wanted by more then one group, who are now all targeting both her and her customers as well.

I enjoyed the main character, Camaro. She strongly reminds me of Jack Reader, the main protagonist in Lee Child’s books, except she is a woman and has a different way with words. Both are loners, ready to help the ones who need it, while at the same time both attracting trouble like magnets. And both can hold their own in a fight if needed be.

Camaro is a strong woman, very well depicted in the book, but so are the supporting characters, including Parker. I can well imagine a tormented soul who is trying to do right by his daughter and get out of bad business, despite his shady and unlucky past. Yet no matter how much he tries, his luck keeps evading him every step of the way.

The Night Charter is a book well worth reading, action packed with memorable characters, both the good and the bad.

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