Set on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida, Harbinger centers around two lifelong friends and fishing charter boat partners, Boyd Tomlin and Hicks Ledoux. Boyd is the serious one who always makes sure things get done, and Hicks is the carefree one who always makes sure everyone has a good time.
But times aren’t so good. They are struggling to get charters, and bills are coming due. In desperate need of money, they consider smuggling drugs to make ends meet. By chance or fate, they meet two beautiful sisters who will change everything—a young Ania and her kid sister Karolyn. Hicks is immediately attached to the brash, confident Ania while Boyd gravitates toward Karolyn.
As romance blossoms, Boyd and Hicks quickly find themselves embroiled in the world of illegal drug trade, romance, danger and violence lurking around every corner.
A prequel book to Zafiro and Wilsky's Ania series and one which kind of blindsided me because I forgot that's what it was.
Two dudes and a boat and a heapload of debt and a failing charter business, and one with an ailing parent and a feeling of being trapped with no easy way out. Boyd and Hicks have problems. One of them frets over them and stews, but as long as his father is alive (not for too long) selling the boat or spending on the boat or their business isn't happening. Hicks can mostly ignore and immerse himself in chasing women for uncomplicated no strings sex, unless of course he has Boyd bending his ear.
I quite like the set-up and the way the story unfolds with alternating chapters from our two main characters. Boyd with some heavy bills coming due for his father's worsening condition, agrees to a suggestion from Hicks to get involved in a bit of weed smuggling. The money isn't life changing, but might keep them ticking over. At around the same time, they become involved with a couple of sisters, Ania and Karolyn. Sex and romance follows and very soon and at the behest of the more dominant sister, Ania some scheming takes over. Plans for a rip-off ensue, one with a big pay day which might give them a future.
Decide in haste and repent at leisure. Needless to say things don't follow the script.
I really enjoyed this one. I liked the friendship between the two guys and the ying and yang with them. Both are fairly easy going and likable, but one more serious and uptight, one with a couldn't care less outlook. In some respects they're each other's opposite. I could buy the descent into criminality and the self justification for their actions. Money woes bring a pressure which mangle clear-headed thinking and befuddle the synapses in the brain. I liked the scheming of Ania as she bent the guys to her will. I enjoyed the differences between the two sisters - one cold and calculating - Ania, the other - Karolyn subservient to her older sister, happy enough for Ania to make the decisions.
The outcome was unexpected and a real punch in my guts, as I had forgotten a key component of the book. Pretty damn perfect to be honest.
4.5 from 5
Frank Zafiro - one of my 2020 reading discoveries and highlights - has been read before. This was my first time reading Jim Wilsky.
Read - January, 2021
Published - 2018
Page count - 228
Source - purchased copy
Format - paperback