East of the Hague Line
by Gordon Holmes
Trafford Publishing

"He needed at least $64,000 dollars to get off the wharf. The total stock was only going to be around $59,000. In a word, he was fucked."

In August 1982, the Jubilee embarks on a fishing trip from coastal Maine with four men on board: Joey Scanton, Skip Reed, Pat Chase, and Tom Anderson. The four have different goals for the trip, but for each one, it will be a life-changing experience.

Boat owner Joey Scanton is hoping for a profitable trip to recoup his finances after a recent run of bad luck. He has no idea the depth of betrayal he is about to encounter. Newbie Tom Anderson, in love with the beautiful Kathy, has been offered a spot on the vessel by his boyhood friend, Skip Reed. Only when he arrives on the boat does he learn Skip hasn't cleared his plan with Scanton. Reed has no intention to spend the rest of his life fishing and has a hidden agenda in bringing his friend on board. Pat Chase is a simple man, happy to be on the water. He loves fishing, smoking, fighting, drinking, and his wife Leslie. He hates Skip Reed.

Native Mainer Gordon Holmes expertly captures the coastal Maine and early 1980s setting—with the unbridled cocaine usage that becomes so central to the plot. A fleet of secondary characters—including Uncle Charley, a female cat—add depth to to the story, as well as a healthy dose of humor.

Scanton, Chase, and Anderson emerge as sympathetic characters that the reader will care deeply for, particularly the artless Scanton who is almost comically oblivious to the machinations of those around him. Despite a somewhat slow start, the novel's action shifts seamlessly from a story about fishing to a courtroom drama, and the novel becomes impossible to put down until justice is served. This is a wicked good read, the finest kind.

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