Running Fix

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Sol Farber is sure his daughter Sarah is alive, and he convinces Gillian Verdean, GLORY’s owner and Sarah’s former roommate, to investigate. The thirty-five-foot yawl SEA HORSE on which Sarah crewed, went down with all hands, and at the time everyone believed that it was an accident. GLORY’s captain Jeremy Barr and mate Patrick O’Mara still believe it, but at second look Barr spots a peculiarity about SEA HORSE’s mast. Gillian determines to get a job at Sarah’s last place of employment, believing that the answer might be found in the files of Sarah’s former boss, who also went down on the yawl. Then Barr is framed for murder in Bermuda and Patrick nearly loses his life while searching a marine salvage yard. It’s Barr who finally puts the pieces together--but by then they’ve all walked into a trap.

Gibbs’s DEAD RUN, where GLORY’s crew first appeared, was well received, and RUNNING FIX is just as readable. All three crew members are believable and likable characters, and the romantic subplot involving them adds to the tension already generated by the fast-moving plot. A knowledge of sailing isn’t a prerequisite to enjoying RUNNING FIX, but sailors and armchair sailors everywhere will appreciate Gibbs’s extensive knowledge of the sea and ships. He uses it to unexpected, expert, and plausible advantage. One hopes that GLORY’s crew will be heard from again.