RoadTrip America

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Sail, by James Patterson and Howard Roughan (Read by Dylan Baker and Jennifer Van Dyck)

This is the third book by Patterson and Roughan in recent years, and it looks to match their previous collaborative successes with Honeymoon and You've Been Warned. In this melodramatic adventure, a dysfunctional family consisting of a driven heart surgeon and her three children embark on a sailing trip in a bid to draw the family closer together. Anne's husband Stuart stays at home, and her brother-in-law Jeff serves as the captain and crew of this 65-foot sailing vessel.

Less than an hour into the trip, things start go awry. The teenage boy, who is addicted to drugs, discovers a serious leak in the cabin when he goes below deck hoping to get a quick hit of marijuana. We also learn that the teenage daughter is suicidal and ten-year-old Ernie suffers from a neurological disorder. The would-be captain discovers that a water coolant line to the engine has been cut and is the source of the leak. The family begins to bail water and sends a distress call to the Coast Guard. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to the family, the GPS equipment on the sail boat has been sabotaged and the Coast Guard is unable to find them. Within a short period of time, the situation becomes even more desperate when the boat explodes and Jeff is killed.

It turns out that Stuart may have some culpability in this disaster and has a good reason to ensure that his family is never found alive. Toward the end of the book he is the recipient of classic Patterson-style justice. Dylan Baker and Jennifer Van Dyck do an excellent job of capturing the terror and confusion of being lost at sea, and there are several intriguing plot twists in this novel. I would give this 6 points out of 10 based upon the plot intricacies and the production value of the presentation.

John Mormon

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