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Precious Cargo by Dr. Clyde W. Ford
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Imagine being on a fishing expedition with your sweetheart on a peaceful stretch of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. When you are done with the joys of the evening and lift the anchor, the dead body of a woman is impaled on the flukes of the anchor.

What would you do? Clyde Ford called Charlie Noble, a former Coast Guard officer who has become a marine PI. Charlie has other thoughts in mind for his time, specifically with his own new ladyfriend, Kate Sullivan. But he wants to assist the couple who actually discovered the body.

Our hero engages a Native American diver, Raven, who has relationships with nautical and nature people all around the waterways. In the course of the adventure, it is discovered that the young lady who became a submerged corpse was ensnared in the sex trade beginning in Mexico and ending in Pacific Northwest. The bad guys, from Texas, come into the peaceful waterways in a huge yacht that looks like it should have been in the harbors on Monte Carlo for its parties not the inlets of these straits.

Clyde Ford writes an excellent, engaging, and easily readable story. Against the background of murder in the human trafficking business, and beauty of the natural settings, the romance of Charlie and Kate is an endearing story all in its own. Two people with their own lives lived before meeting have their own needs, which they struggle to comes to grips with, as Charlie engages in the life-and-death struggle to solve the crime. At least one of the struggles has a clever and charming twist, so silence is best on this.

I read the book straight through, fascinated with what would happen to the lovers and the unfolding of the central mystery.

A hearty recommendation for a fine story written by a world class author. ( )
  CymLowell | Jan 17, 2010 |
There's a new, at least to me, dimension on the block now. Author, Clyde Ford, mentioned that he had hooked up his book to Google Earth 3D. Not only that, but you here him reading the book too - at least with IE7 (I didn't get everything to work with Firefox 3 or IE8 beta). Wow! It's awesome.His book is a murder mystery & takes place around Seattle. With Google earth, you can zoom in & actually see not only where the action is taking place, but the buildings that are there & everything. He has a great reading voice, too. His website is http://clydeford.com & once you get in there, look for the blue OnScene link on the right. It is really worth the trip. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Sep 25, 2009 |
African American Charlie Noble loves his boat: The Noble Lady as well as his lady friend Kate. He is hired by Marvin and Angela who pull up an unwanted lady from the bottom of the seabed. Having lost their own daughter they ask Charlie to investigate and find out how this lady came to be there. Charlie takes on the challenge and finds himself in many dangerous situations, but is helped by Raven, a Native American.

For a thriller I found this an extremely laid back read and an enjoyable one too. I was really surprised that as the story was always moving that I could find the story so laidback, however maybe it was the way that Clyde wrote the character of Charlie. I loved the watery theme of this thriller too and it certainly gave it a different slant than many other of the thrillers that I have read lately. It’s certainly left me feeling like a boat trip; however I’d give the bullets a miss. ( )
1 vote loopyloo100 | Oct 12, 2008 |
Marvin and Angela Baynes prepare to embark on their annual voyage to Alaska. Yet, as the boat anchor rises from the ocean floor, their excitement turns to horror as a ghastly image comes into view: the body of a young woman impaled on the anchor flukes.

When detective Charlie Noble is called upon to investigate, he enlists the help of Raven, a Native American sea salvager. They find two more bodies.

As the case unravels, Charlie and Raven make the connection that all of the dead females are Mexican, most likely young immigrants who have been murdered. Their investigation leads them to a suspicious father-and-son team, the Kincaids. Convinced that they are guilty, Charlie tracks the Kincaids down, ultimately discovering that they are, in fact, human traffickers.

To further complicate matters, Charlie and Raven soon encounter a local woman from the harbor, who startlingly admits to murdering the girls when she discovers them in bed with the younger Kincaid. Was this really a crime of passion? Or was this perhaps another twist within a sordid underworld of prostitution and human trafficking?

It is up to Charlie to piece together the missing elements of this baffling case—the only way he can save other young women from winding up at the bottom of the sea. ( )
  cwford | Aug 19, 2008 |
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Sarabande swayed gently at anchor off Cypress Island.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This the Vanguard release of the second book in the Charlie Noble series. Accompanying this book is an online site where readers can click on place names from the story and fly there with Google Earth. Once there, they can listen to the author read from the book, learn more about the geography and history of the place, view video interviews, and even see like webcam footage.

The technology to allow this is called OnScene, and it was developed by the author who is a long-time software developer.
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Marvin and Angela Baynes prepare to embark on their voyage to Alaska. But their excitement turns to horror as a ghastly image comes into view: the body of a young woman impaled on the anchor flukes. It is up to detective Charlie Noble to piece together the missing elements of this case.… (more)

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