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Authors: James Patterson,Howard Roughan

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Sail

BOOK: Sail
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Copyright © 2008 by James Patterson

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Little, Brown and Company

Hachette Book Group USA

237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Visit our Web site at
www.HachetteBookGroupUSA.com

First eBook Edition: June 2008

The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real-persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

ISBN: 978-0-316-03250-6

Contents

The Crew

Prologue: Family Dunne Alive

One

Two

Three

Part One: The Family (Un)Dunne

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Part Two: Mayday

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Part Three: Ka-Blam, Ka-Blooey

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Part Four: All Together Now

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62

Chapter 63

Chapter 64

Chapter 65

Chapter 66

Chapter 67

Chapter 68

Chapter 69

Chapter 70

Chapter 71

Chapter 72

Chapter 73

Chapter 74

Chapter 75

Chapter 76

Chapter 77

Chapter 78

Chapter 79

Chapter 80

Part Five: Finders Keepers

Chapter 81

Chapter 82

Chapter 83

Chapter 84

Chapter 85

Chapter 86

Chapter 87

Chapter 88

Chapter 89

Chapter 90

Chapter 91

Chapter 92

Chapter 93

Chapter 94

Chapter 95

Chapter 96

Chapter 97

Chapter 98

Chapter 99

Chapter 100

Chapter 101

Chapter 102

Chapter 103

Chapter 104

Part Six: Trust No One

Chapter 105

Chapter 106

Chapter 107

Chapter 108

Chapter 109

Chapter 110

Chapter 111

Chapter 112

Chapter 113

Chapter 114

Chapter 115

Chapter 116

Chapter 117

Chapter 118

Chapter 119

Chapter 120

Chapter 121

Chapter 122

Chapter 123

Epilogue: A Promise is a Promise

Chapter 124

Chapter 125

About the Authors

A complete list of James Patterson’s books can be found at the end of the book. For more information about James Patterson and his books, visit
www.JamesPatterson.com.

For my sister, Shari—H.R.

For my sisters, Carole, Maryellen, and Terry—J.P.

The Crew

DR. KATHERINE DUNNE
, forty-five, is a heart surgeon at Lexington Hospital in Manhattan. Four years ago she lost her husband, Stuart, in a scuba diving accident off their boat,
The Family Dunne.
As it turned out, Stuart was having an affair, and his mistress was there when he died. From that day on, Katherine’s relationship with her three children has never been the same. Things have only gotten worse since she remarried, bringing the lawyer Peter Carlyle into the family. But Peter is bright, funny, and compassionate, and he won Katherine’s heart.

CARRIE DUNNE
, eighteen, is a freshman at Yale. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Carrie is bulimic and has suffered from bouts of depression. She has always accused Katherine of being more devoted to being a doctor than to her kids. Carrie’s best friend from New York recently told Katherine she was afraid that Carrie was capable of hurting herself.

MARK DUNNE
, sixteen, is a sophomore at Deerfield Academy, where he’s well liked but also the resident stoner. Zero ambition, zero enthusiasm. “Why should I bust my ass like Dad when at any moment,
poof!
—the Grim Reaper comes and takes it all away from you.”

ERNIE DUNNE
is ten—at least, that’s what his birth certificate says. But in this family, where it’s seemingly every Dunne for himself, he has grown up fast. And bewildered. “Mom, are you sure I’m not adopted?” Ernie asks Katherine at least once a day.

JAKE DUNNE
, forty-four, is Katherine’s former brother-in-law. A true nautical nomad, he dropped out of Dartmouth to sail the world. It was a path far different from that of his older brother, Stuart, who stayed ashore to chase, and catch, millions on Wall Street. But as different as the two brothers always were, Jake and Stuart Dunne did have one thing in common: they were both in love with Katherine.

Prologue

Family Dunne Alive

One

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 Steve, 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 Jeffrey, 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
shit
load.”

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.”

Two

SURE ENOUGH, even in the ultra-laid-back Bahamas it took less than a New York minute for a large and curious throng to gather around the fishing boat, the buzz swelling as a forklift carried the humongous tuna toward the marina’s official scale.
Christ, was that scale even big enough?

Captain Preston beamed, giving a hearty slap to the back of the groom-to-be and announcing that he’d never met a finer bunch of anglers in all his life. “You guys are the best,” he said. “And you proved it today.”

“Rather be good than lucky!” one guy shouted back.

Of course, the truth would stay strictly between him and Jeff. These big-city misfits had no clue what they were doing. They couldn’t catch a cold, let alone a fish.

Yet here they all were, basking in the relentless
click, click, click
of digital cameras—the crowd, the excitement, the anticipation of the weigh-in growing bigger by the second.

“Tie her up good!” urged Captain Steve as the tail of the tuna was wrapped with double-braided rope, the strongest on hand.

On the count of three, she was hoisted high into the air. The crowd oohed and aahed appreciatively. This was some fish.

Six hundred . . . seven hundred . . . eight hundred pounds!

The arm of the scale shot up like a rocket. When it finally settled at a record-busting 912 pounds, the entire marina let out a tremendous roar, the bachelor-party guys loudest of all.

And that’s when it happened.

Plunk!

Something very strange fell out of the tuna’s mouth.

Three

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, 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 small plastic bag 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.”

BOOK: Sail
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