Saturday, October 3, 2009

Review: Whiskey Gulf by Dr. Clyde W. Ford

Hardcover: 264 pages
• Publisher: Vanguard Press; First American Edition edition (July 14, 2009)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1593155220
• ISBN-13: 978-1593155223
From the inside cover: After a sailboat drifts into a "live fire" naval exercise area known as Whiskey Gulf, it's never heard from again. Maritime private investigator Charlie Noble is asked to discover what happened to the couple aboard. But he's stonewalled by the American and Canadian military. Then he learns that a Middle Eastern agent has been dispatched to find the couple as well-an agent with an old score to settle from his days as a Coast Guard intelligence officer.
Ultimately, Noble and his partner, Native American salvage diver Raven, head north along the Inside Passage where a hidden cove harbors answers about what really happened in Whiskey Gulf. But in order to return with the truth they must first survive a vicious attack and escape the clutches of a deadly whirlpool. Set in the stunning wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, Whiskey Gulf is a story about unlocking secrets from the past that some people would rather keep concealed.

Before I read this book, I had read a review by another blogger who didn't care for the book at all and gave it a 2 star rating. Therefore, I had some reservations about reading this book but my husband had already read it and he thought it was a terrific book. When I started reading, I was drawn in right away by the mystery aspect of the book. Why weren't the two governments making any statements and what could possibly have happened to the couple aboard the sailboat? These questions really kept me interested in the plot.

Now we come to the matter of dialogue- this is where the reviewing blogger had some quibbles and I agree with her. The dialogue between Charlie and his girlfriend, Kate did seem a tad stilted but the dialogue between Charlie and Raven was okay. At the risk of sounding sexist, I think Ford is better at man-to-man dialogue. His man-to-woman banter leaves a lot to be desired.

The many details about the different boats in the story occasionally tended to make my eyes glaze over but it still did not detract from the fine paced plot. My hubby, being an ex-navy man, could not get enough details about the boats. He reached reading nirvana! So again, at the risk of sounding sexist, there are many aspects of this book that I think will appeal more to males.

One aspect of the book that I really appreciated was the descriptions of the landscape. Obviously, the author knows every detail of that area. Another interesting part of the book is the map at the beginning. For someone like myself who has no familiarity with the northwest area, the map was a tremendous help.

All in all, I would rate the book 3 stars as I did enjoy the plot even though I could put it down easily. If you asked my husband, he would rate it 5 stars. He couldn't put it down until it was over. As with any book, it's all a matter of taste. Would I still recommend it? Yes, I would.


  1. Hmmm, it sounds like you are talking about me! I admit I read some passages about boats to my husband and he didn't see what I found so outrageous! And I can imagine an ex-Navy guy would *really* like it!

    I love reading a well-thought out rebuttal to my review! It's so fun; it's like a book club! But where's the wine and munchies?!!!! We need some!!!!!!

  2. This sounds like a book my hubby would like. Thanks for sharing your husband's thoughts, Kaye.

    I'll bring the wine next time : )

  3. I bet my dad would like this one, but I don't think it's for me.

  4. I always think you have to read a book that intrigues you to see if you like it -- regardless of what other people say. And it seems like a perfect read for your husband so SCORE!

  5. My husband is an ex-Navy guy too, but but he worked at headquarters the whole time. He never even set foot on a ship!

  6. Thank you for the honest review. What I love is the fact you didn't put it down because it still captured your attention.

  7. That sounds like Jill and her hubby!! Must be a man's book for sure :)

  8. So that means in the "Penguin" home, the average rating was really a 4 between the two of you...good enough recommendation, I'd say! Would love to hear the discussion you all had about the book. Sadly my husband doesn't read much and if he does, it is car magazines...grrrr!


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