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.



THE MYSTERIOUS STOWAWAY landed on the dock and rolled right up to Captain Stephen Preston's knee-high black rubber boots.

"What the hell is that?" someone asked from the back. "Let us in on the joke."

But everyone else could see plain as day what it was. A Coke bottle. The old-fashioned kind, with real glass.

"That's some funny-lookin' bait you used, Steve," joked a captain from another boat.

The crowd laughed as Steve bent and scooped up the bottle. He held it up to the bright morning sun and immediately scratched his head of curly blond hair. There was something inside. What the hell was it?

Quickly he removed the makeshift seal of a plastic baggie held tight by a knot made of vines. This was getting stranger by the minute. With two shakes he was able to reach the edge of the contents with his pinkie.

He pulled it out.

It wasn't paper–more like some kind of fabric. And there was writing on it.

"What's it say?" asked Jeffrey.

The entire dock was silent as Steve Preston read the note to himself. The words were written in a deep crimson color, smudged but still legible. Could that be blood? he was wondering now. And whose blood is it?

"C'mon, what's it say?" asked Jeffrey again. "You're killin' us with suspense."

Captain Steve slowly turned the note so that those around him could see for themselves. The collective gasp that followed was instantaneous.

"That family–they're alive!" he managed. "The Dunne family."

In a flash, a vacationing reporter from the Washington Post reached for his cell phone to call his newsroom. He was back on the job.

Meanwhile, Captain Stephen Preston just stood before the crowd and smiled. All he could think about was how the note in the bottle ended, the part about the reward.

The dollar sign.

The number one.

And all those amazingly beautiful zeroes after it.

"Jeff," he said slowly, "This tuna's worth a hell of a lot more than we thought."

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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