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Barracuda (7 Prequels)

De
192 pages
Fishing for barracuda from a kayak in the Florida Keys. That's what Jim Webb thinks this resort vacation with his grandfather should be about. Except the dying resort owner holds the key to legend about a generations-old crime. A crime that is worth way too much to those who want the legend to be true. Webb soon discovers that what lurks in the sun, sand and shallow waters of the Keys is much more dangerous than a slashing game fish. And along the way, he learns an important truth about himself and his own past.
In this exciting prequel to Devil’s Pass and Tin Soldier, the musically gifted and tenacious Webb finds himself caught in a dangerous mystery.
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sigmund brouwer
BARRA  CU A
Praise forDevil’s Pass fromSeven (the series)
“A fastpaced adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats…Highly Recommended.” CM Magazine
“Brouwer weaves twin narratives to good effect.” Kirkus Reviews
“[The] adventures are exciting and readers will be anxious to pick up the next book in the series.” NJ Youth Services
Praise forTin SoldierfromThe Seven Sequels
“A fastpaced story with lots of twists…Highly Recommended.” —CM Magazine
“Rich in historical detail, the narrative is a crash course on a volatile time in American history. Webb…is a complicated and authentic hero.” Kirkus Reviews
“Brouwer certainly knows how to weave an intriguing mystery.” —Resource Links
BARRA CUDA sigmund brouwer
Copyright ©2016Sigmund Brouwer
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Brouwer, Sigmund,1959–, author Barracuda / Sigmund Brouwer. (The seven prequels)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459811522(paperback).—isbn 9781459811539(pdf).— isbn 9781459811546(epub)
I. Title. ps8553.r68467b37 2016jc813'.54 c20169004813 c20169004821
First published in the United States,2016 Library of Congress Control Number:2016933644
Summary:In this middlegrade novel, Jim Webb goes to the Florida Keys with his grandfather and becomes embroiled in a mystery involving a dead man and a missing cache of diamonds.
Orca Book Publishers is dedicated to preserving the environment and has ® printed this book on Forest Stewardship Council certified paper.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Design by Teresa Bubela Cover photography by iStock.com Author photo by Reba Baskett
orca book publishers www.orcabook.com
Printed and bound in Canada.
191817164321
For Brad Romans: here’s to looking back at those high school days — when great rock and roll like “Barracuda” was new on eighttrack tapes, and when one crazy job always seemed to lead to another even crazier than the one before.
AUTHOR’S NOTE
If you are able to, before you start reading the story, listen to the song “Barracuda” by Heart.It’s the song, of course, that inspired the title of this story. Crank the music until it’s obnoxiously loud. Listen to it twice and enjoy the opening guitar riffs. It will give you a sense of what it was like for Webb when he first heard that song from the bandstand. To hear the recut version of the song, check out www.sigmundbrouwer.com/barracuda for the video that goes with this book—it sure was fun to be involved with the music.
If the real thing don’t do the trick You better make up something quick You gonna burn, burn, burn, burn, burn to the wick Oooh, barracuda, oh yeah*
* “Barracuda” lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC,
Universal Music Publishing Group
ONE
Bad enough, Jim Webb thought, that the bright white Florida sands of his imagination didn’t exist on Little Torch Key. Instead of beach, the water’s edge was lined with stubby mangrove trees, thick and shrubby, that made wading through the warm water impossible. Meant he had to walk pavement, dusted with sand. To make the start of his vacation worse, though, was what waited when he finished this walk—a deathbed visit with an old man he’d never met before. Webb was only hours off an airplane from Toronto. It was his first day of a spring vacation
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in the Florida Keys. The day before, he’d faced the sloppy, stained snow of crowded downtown side walks. Now he felt the freedom of a gentle breeze, a deep blue sky, the heat of the sun and the slap of his running shoes on pavement. He would have preferred the rhythmic lapping of waves and sand against bare toes. One thing would have been the same whether on the beach or on the road he walked. Seagulls. They squawkedin circles above him, drawn by the bag of chips in his left hand. This wasn’t even close to the vacation Webb had expected. A month earlier his grandfather, David Maclean—who didn’t ask it of all his grandsons but for some reason had asked Webb to call him David—had promised to take Webb on a road trip, just the two of them, as a thirteenth birthday present. After a month of anticipation, the trip began with a5:00amto his mother on the goodbye doorstep and a taxi ride to the airport. Then the long wait at Toronto Pearson International to get
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throughus Customs and Border Protection. Finally the time came to take off in a Boeing767, with his grandfather beside him, telling a few war stories about when he’d flown planes small enough to land on the jet’s wingspan. Their flight had landed before noon in Miami, where David had rented a Mustang convertible. Yes. Mustang. Yes. Convertible. Yes. Cool. Webb had ridden shotgun for a couple hours as they traveled, top down, alongus Route1through the Florida Keys. David had explained it was called the Overseas Highway. David had given Webb a pair of sunglasses for his birthday. They were blacklensed Oakleys, top of the line. Wearing Oakleys and riding shotgun in a convertible was much better than bumping along on an ancient streetcar in Toronto, squished between commuters with body odor. Bridge after narrow bridge connected the small Key islands. Webb had counted down the mile markers, knowing their destination was Little Torch Key, at mile marker28. The trip had
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