By KL Smith
It’s Shark Week at Captain Jack’s Rum Caye Inn in Belize. Jack dangles a popsicle of frozen fish guts that he uses to attract sharks for photo ops for divers. But the frenzied shark attack results in a shocking scene and the divers are horrified and panic. When travel writer Matt Oliver, still mourning his father’s death, arrives at Jack’s the next day, he learns the local police suspect his old friend of being responsible for the serious mishap and have shut down his diving business. As Matt tries to clear Jack’s name, he stumbles into a violent game of international intrigue.
With the help of Maxie McCaw, an ex-girlfriend and Environmental Protection Agency agent, and Cat Mander, the beautiful owner of a rainforest resort with her own dark secrets, Matt finds himself in deeper trouble when he uncovers a jaguar hunt staged by Trey Turnbull, a corrupt American conservationist with surreptitious ties to Martin Chin, a Hong Kong expat who is producing phony aphrodisiacs and leading a shark-finning ring, as well as the American ambassador to Belize. Police track Matt down and deport him for dubious reasons but, goaded by Maxie, he sneaks back into Belize as a cruise ship passenger. Soon Matt becomes the hunted prey during a terror-filled journey through uninhabited cayes, humid jungles, and the dark and dangerous streets of Belize City.
A shocking and sad fact: More than forty million sharks will be left to die this year after their fins have been hacked off for soup.
About the Author
Ken Smith is an international travel reviewer, and the publisher and editor of the subscription-only consumer newsletter, Undercurrent.org, the private guide for traveling scuba divers. He has visited more than fifty countries and dived in twenty-six of them. He was a partner in a management consulting and fundraising firm, with clients such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the Wildlife Conservation Society, national political candidates, and public television stations. He has taught graduate courses at three universities, managed a successful California political reform ballot initiative, and served on several nonprofit boards, including the Marine Mammal Center. His articles have appeared in Skin Diver Magazine, Outside, and Men’s Journal. Though he sold his company to devote more time to writing, he and colleagues in the UK are now working to create an International Court for the Environment and he will be attending the Paris Climate Convention in December. He lives in Northern California with his wife and two dogs.