cover image Baja Florida

Baja Florida

Bob Morris, . . Minotaur, $24.99 (242pp) ISBN 978-0-312-37726-7

At the request of a dying friend, Mickey Ryser, Zack Chasteen goes on a hunt for Ryser's daughter, Jen, in Edgar-finalist Morris's enjoyable if flawed fourth thriller set in Florida and the surrounding waters (after A Deadly Silver Sea ). Ryser hasn't seen Jen in 20 years, but she was supposed to be sailing her boat down from Charleston, S.C., with a crew of friends to meet him on Lady Cut Cay, a tiny island in the Bahamas, which Chasteen calls “Baja Florida.” Chasteen follows the trail blazed by an incompetent detective hired by Ryser, tangles with a ring of boat thieves, and winds up wanted by the Bahamian police. Improbably, neither Ryser, who doesn't know what Jen looks like, nor Chasteen, tries to locate a recent photo of Jen, who's being held prisoner. That readers are privy to Jen's continuing travails lessens the suspense. On the other hand, Chasteen's knack for getting into trouble, his unusual Taino shaman companion, and a rousing ending more than compensate. (Jan.)