RAIDERS

William B. McCloskey, Author . Lyons $22.95 (402p) ISBN 978-1-59228-231-9

McCloskey's third novel about Alaska's deep sea fishermen finds hero Hank Crawford up to his scuppers in cutthroat foreign competition, a bad business deal gone worse and a wife who wants to be a fishing boat captain in a male-dominated industry. After Highliners and Breakers , Hank is now the respected skipper of his own fishing boat, Jody Dawn , fishing for salmon in the frigid waters of western Alaska, near Kodiak Island. It is the early 1980s, and foreign competition has been banned from U.S. waters. Foreign companies, especially the Japanese, now contract with American fishermen to fish for them, offering many promises of prosperity with lots of hidden strings attached. A Japanese company, Tsurifune Suisan Ltd., gives Hank command of a newer, larger boat, but Hank must put up his own boat and his house as security and take on a Japanese fishing master as part of his crew. Meanwhile, Hank's wife, Jody, a skilled seaman herself, convinces Hank to let her skipper the Adele H , the boat that belonged to Hank's recently deceased mentor. For superstitious sailors, having a woman on a boat at all is just plain dangerous, but a woman skipper is viewed as blasphemy. Hank and his crew are very successful fishing for the Japanese, but they must fight more than just severe weather and bad luck as treachery and company lawyers set them up for a bad fall. This is a riveting tale of the complexities and harsh realities of the Alaskan fishing industry, peopled by fiercely independent and resourceful men and women whose every day is a struggle for survival. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/26/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
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