BY James Patterson & Howard Roughan

A perfect family vacation turns into a life-or-death nightmare.

Only an hour out of port, the Dunne family's summer getaway to paradise is already turning into the trip from hell. Carrie, the eldest, has thrown herself off the side of the boat in a bid for attention. Sixteen-year-old Mark is getting high belowdecks. And Ernie, their ten-year-old brother, is nearly catatonic. It's shaping up to be the worst vacation ever.

Katherine Dunne had hoped this trip would bring back the togetherness they'd lost when her husband died four years earlier. Maybe if her new husband, a high-powered Manhattan attorney, had been able to postpone his trial and join them it would all have been okay....

Suddenly, a disaster hits–and it's perfect. Faced with real danger, the Dunnes rediscover the meaning of family and pull together in a way they haven't in a long time. But this catastrophe is just a tiny taste of the danger that lurks ahead: someone wants to make sure that the Dunne family never makes it out of paradise alive.

With whiplash plot twists, speedboat pacing, and an eye for the evil that can lie behind even the most gorgeous setting, James Patterson delivers Sail–the wettest, most explosive ocean adventure since Jaws.



EASING THROUGH the marina's sapphire-blue water at a leisurely three-knot clip, Captain Stephen Preston took a long pull off his Marlboro Red, casually flicking the ash into the cool island breeze. Then, after waiting for just the perfect moment, he punched the horn of his forty-six-foot Bertram Sport Fisherman until everyone on the dock stopped to look.

Yeah, that's right, boys and girls, take a gander at what Captain Steve reeled in!

It was a quarter past eleven in the morning. His charter, the Bahama Mama, wasn't due back to shore until that afternoon at two, the same time as always.

But today was different.

Fuckin' A it's different, thought Captain Jack, hitting the horn another time. When you spear the biggest, baddest giant bluefin tuna ever seen around the Bahama islands, you're done fishing for the day. Hell, you might as well be done fishing for the year!

"What do you think she's worth?" asked Dillon, the Mama's first mate and Steve's brother. He'd been with the boat for eleven years. Never took a sick day. And rarely ever smiled, before that morning anyway.

"I dunno," replied Captain Steve, pulling on the rim of a Boston Red Sox cap. "I'd guess she's worth somewhere between a boatload of money and a shitload."

Jeffrey continued to smile widely beneath the brim of the tattered green visor he always wore. He knew a tuna this size could fetch upwards of $20,000, cash money, maybe even more if the sushi bidders at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo liked what they saw. And why wouldn't they?

Whatever the amount, he was in line to get a very healthy cut. The captain was good that way, a fair man in every sense.

"Are you sure those bozos signed the contract, Jeff?" Captain Steve asked.

Jeffrey glanced toward the stern at the six-man bachelor party from the island of Manhattan. They'd been drinking since sunrise, when the trip began, and were already so stinking drunk they could barely high-five each other without falling overboard.

"Yeah, they signed the contract, all right," said Jeffrey with a slow nod. "Though I doubt they ever read the fine print."

If they had read the contract carefully, they'd have known that no binge-drinking, sunburned tourists would ever pocket a dime off a giant bluefin tuna. No way, not on the Bahama Mama. One hundred percent of the proceeds went directly to the captain and the crew. Period, end of Big Fish story.

"Well, then," said Captain Steve, cutting the boat's twin engines as they approached the dock, "let's go cause a scene."

Copyright © 2008 by James Patterson

Read by Dylan Baker & Jennifer Van Dyck

Dylan Baker is an actor and director who has been nominated for a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, and an Obie. Some of his feature film credits include Happiness, Kinsey, Road to Perdition, Along Came a Spider, and Random Hearts. On television he has appeared in From the Earth to the Moon, Murder One, and The Laramie Project, among many others. Baker resides in New York.

Jennifer Van Dyck has appeared on Broadway in Hedda Gabler and Dancing at Lughnasa. Her film and television credits include Michael Clayton, Across the Universe, Bullets Over Broadway, Law & Order, Ed, and Spin City.

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