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Last of the Good Guys by Mark Irwin
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Genre/Category: Crime, Thriller, Mystery
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Last of the Good Guys by Mark Irwin
Synopsis

Bobby goes on the run to Mexico, after he escapes custody in Canada. He takes along his young daughter. Soon however, he realizes he’s jumped straight out of the frying pan and into the fire. He finds himself without anywher to live and he's run out of cash, so he leaves his daughter under the protection of a convent and enters the world of marine salvagers where he unwittingly becomes involved in the violent death of an insurance inspector.

A dangerous psychopath leaves him for dead, so Rafferty teams up with Rachel, the insurance man’s sister, who wants answers and she’s willing to brave a hurricane to obtain justice for her brother. Someone owes Rafferty money, and he wants it back. obooko.

Excerpt:

Shipside. A Bayou In Southeast Louisiana,. Early Monday Evening

Bobby identified the second shot from the here and now, the first staying webbed into his dream. He knew without pleasure what the gunshots meant. Though  he  hadn’t  known Howie more than a couple of days, he had become predictable.

The lunacy of the disconnected.

He pushed the tarp from his head and realized it was still daylight, with the sun backing deci- sively into evening. Uncomfortably covered with two days of sweat and grime he headed astern without thinking about it. Slowly, getting his legs under him, he moved in favor of the aches in his body. He hoped that everything would take care of itself by the time he got there.

When he got to the aft quarterdeck he found Gomez sitting where he’d slept. Their eyes met and Bobby saw without speaking that Gomez did- n’t want to know, didn’t need the involvement.

“Let’s go, Gomez!”

“No, amigo.” Gomez’s flat words and anchored posture made his statement. “Demasiados prob- lemas, Bubby.”

The dull echo of a ricochet and partially muf- fled wail mingled abrupt and abrasive through the aft hatchway.  Both followed by the cacophony of a ranting Howie, the content unknown but the perspective obvious.

Gomez’s eyes again connected with Bobby’s, his face drawn tired from the labor of years and the immediate concern. Bobby didn’t bother to ask him again. He stepped over the entrance edge and headed below, alone. The fading evening light moved him into dim silhouettes quickly. Crossing the steel grating slowly, Bobby gave his eyes time to adjust to the light, not looking to star- tle anyone. He called Howie’s name and heard a bullet ricochet a response.

He found himself on his belly across the grat- ing before he actually thought of doing it. In- stinctively silent, he waited. He heard nothing and rose cautiously to his knees, still crouched low across the walkway. He peered through the grat- ing into the darkness below and saw nothing. “Howie!” He shouted into the silence, maintaining the crouch.

Behind it all, Bobby thought he heard an ob- scure and unspecific undercurrent of sound, like distant night noise. Several seconds passed be- fore Howie’s coarse, “Get the f**k down here!”

Bobby heard it and obeyed, questioning his wisdom. “I’m coming down, Howie!” He stayed loud, having no plans to invest in a panicked bul- let.  “Relax!”

“Get the f**k down here!”

It took time. The Lady stood three decks deep and

making his way to the engine room involved ef- fort, care, and energy. He stopped at the water- tight door, one of the ones they’d closed badly, an ineffective piece of fakery. Probably one of the first failings Forster’d noticed. Maybe the one that had got him the trouble.

“Howie?”  It’s a question, a soft one.

Silence. “You alone?” Howie’s voice came through worried and strained.

“Yeah,” Bobby said. Who did Howie think he might’ve brought with him? The cops? God? He answered with apprehension in his voice. “I’m alone.” He thought about the doors on those quiz shows, a prize behind every one. He had the strangest thoughts at the strangest times. He needed to laugh and thought it might be tasteless. “I’m coming in.” He saved the laugh for a more appropriate moment. “Okay?” There was no re- sponse. Bobby steeled himself and stepped through the open watertight door.

He saw Robert Forster immediately, on the far side of the engine room on his back, floating on the sludge, half submerged, eyes glazed, soft moans issuing from his unmoving body. The fouled water at his chest carried a red tinge. Bobby figured the wrong man bought it, hadn’t re- alized until then that he had a favourite, a stranger. He couldn’t see Howie. That worried him.