Stephen Maher is an award-winning political reporter and columnist based in Ottawa. Salvage is his second novel.
Phillip Scarnum must employ his cunning and seamanship to stay alive and out of prison in this fast-paced, gritty thriller.
Phillip Scarnum is sailing along Nova Scotia’s South Shore when he finds an abandoned lobster boat smashed on the rocks. He risks his life to haul it in, hoping to collect a big salvage fee, but before he can cash in, a fisherman’s body full of bullet holes washes up on a nearby beach. The Mounties seize Scarnum’s prize and start asking tricky questions about how well he knows the fisherman's wild widow. Scarnum needs to find out what happened on the boat, but as soon as he starts to investigate, some heavily armed Mexican drug runners show up, looking for 100 kilos of missing cocaine. Scarnum needs to keep a step ahead of the police and the gangsters if he wants to stay alive and out of prison and get the salvage fee that’s coming to him.
Mood and setting are the real appeals here, though readers will be tantalized about the identity of Scarnum.
One fast-paced action scene after another.
Maher vividly captures the East Coast, not only the wind and the tangy scent of the sea but the accents and talk of the people in Scarnum’s world — as rough and salty as the waters they sail.
An interesting work by a writer of talent and, for the sailing enthusiast, a fun read.
Salvage soars above the average paperback thriller … exciting, entertaining, and a lot of fun.
Maher is a writer to watch; his talent takes you right into the action and is well worth the price of admission.
Salvage is the real thing — a picture of Nova Scotia’s South Shore as it is today and really good contemporary noir fiction.
The richly detailed descriptions and sharply plotted story should pull you right in.
Peppered with plenty of sex and salty language, [Salvage] shows that Maher knows his way around Nova Scotia and boats.