Two detectives take to the high seas after a sailor’s death in a mystery that “succeeds in making life aboard a huge oil tanker both fascinating and scary” (Publishers Weekly).
The Rossi family received only a handful of letters after their son shipped out on the supertanker Aurora Victorious. The first dispatches were from Harold himself, describing the blend of tedium and excitement that defined life onboard the ship. The last communication came from the ship’s owners: four brief sentences informing them that their son had died and been buried at sea. Desperate to know more, the Rossis turn to James and Julie Raiford, the father-daughter detective team behind the Touchstone Agency. As the Raifords soon learn, work on the open sea is dangerous—and asking questions can be deadly.
When the shipping company stonewalls the investigation, James joins the Aurora Victorious as an electronics officer, and Julie digs into the proprietors’ shadowy background. International oil shipping is a ruthless business, and its secrets run as deep as the ocean itself.
After a 17-year hiatus, Edgar-winner Burns (The Alvarez Journal) launches a promising new series featuring a father/daughter PI team in Denver, Colo. When the parents of Third Officer Harold Rossi receive a terse letter informing them of their son's death aboard the supertanker Aurora Victorious, their efforts to get more details are ignored by the ship's owner, the Hercules Shipping Company. The Rossis hire James Raiford and Julie Campbell of the Touchstone Agency to try to learn more. After getting nowhere in the U.S., Julie heads to England to press for answers, and Raiford manages to wangle a temporary berth aboard the Aurora Victorious in the Persian Gulf as an electronics officer. As Julie fights for information in London, Raiford struggles for survival on a ship with a brutal first mate and a ragtag crew. Burns succeeds in making life aboard a huge oil tanker both fascinating and scary. Readers will look forward to the further adventures of Julie and Raiford.