Running for his life, surfer/sailor Rick Damiano flees a cadre of drug dealers, money lauderers and loan sharks from the towers of Panama City to the roaring surf on Panama’s Pacific Coast. In this third book of the Rick Damiano saga, Damiano once again faces exploits of danger and intrigue as he continues to attempt to do what is right, even when it means his own survival hangs in the balance.
Author of the gritty memoir CHANGING TIDES, Jeff Gardner once again shows his vast experience of sailing, surfing and the Caribbean in this third installment of the Rick Damiano series which began with EXTRACTIONS and continued with BOCAS TOWN.
Scarabaldi lost all his patience and screamed in Sallie’s face, emitting more spittle from his cruel mouth. “OKAY, LAST TIME, MEATBALL. WHAT IS HIS NAME?” The angry Colombian raised the gun butt high above his head, threatening to smash the thumb on Sallie’s spread-eagled hand, which one of the thugs firmly held in place against the skiff’s seat.
Sallie realized that there was no hope for him to survive this ordeal, and the torment would escalate unless he did the one thing that he vowed to himself never to do. But fear manifests itself in many ways, and sometimes loyalty – even to family – gets compromised, especially when faced with the prospect of sadistically-driven torture. In a terrified, helpless, wavering scream, Sallie gave up the man he was trying to protect. “Okay, OKAY! HIS NAME IS DAMIANO, RICK DAMIANO, BUT PLEASE DON’T HARM HIM, BECAUSE HE’S REALLY INNOCENT. HE’S FAMILY. HE’S MY NEPHEW, FOR GOD’S SAKE!”
The inquisitor answered him unemotionally, in the manner of the true sociopath he was. He feigned pushing on an electric buzzer with his thumb and said. “BUZZZ! Sorry, Sallie, you took way too long to answer and showed me no respect, so now you will open door number two and experience the ride of a lifetime.” But first, the scarfaced man thrust down his fist that was holding the pistol in a decisive motion and the weapon crushed Sallie’s strangely-shaped bell-like thumb. The large digit doubled in width as the gun nearly made contact with the wood beneath Sallie’s hand. The jolly Italian uncle of Rick Damiano screamed in agony as the delicate bones splintered, some of the pieces piercing his toughened skin. Then the man with the gun club laughed with a maniacal, jackal-like sound, his rotted teeth framing the pungent cavity of his mouth, and nodded to the other three hombres.
Following the command of his gesture of assent, the three worker-bees stood, grabbed Sallie by the shoulders and ankles, swung him back and forth three times across the side of the skiff to gain maximum momentum and then flung him over the starboard side of the rapidly accelerating fiberglass launch.