(Reviewed by Judi Clark DEC 29, 1999)Mick Baker's mind gets stuck on an Old Spice commercial image of a tall, blond Viking-like guy and his brunette centerfold girlfriend sailing through turquoise waves, steadily moving towards paradise. Despite Mick's current situation- living amid thrift shop furnishings above the dry cleaners where he is employed- heknows this is what he needs to do. He makes his way down to the marina intent on going to sea and learning to sail.
After talking to a few boat owners without luck, Mick ends up at the Battened Hatch, sitting a few bar stools away from a 50+ redheaded woman who clearly spends too much time at the bar. Out of the blue, she asks him if he wants to go sailing. She doesn't look like a centerfold, but Mick doesn't let this worry him, it's only part of the image that appealed to him in the commercial. Of course he say yes, that's why he ended up in the bar. So thinking what's the worst that could happen, he boards "Double Trouble." She instructs him on what to do while downing a pitcher of Margaritas. After they have left the dock, she tells him to steer towards a landmark while she goes down below to mix another pitcher. Mick's enjoying steering the boat, but starts to get a little nervous as he nears the landmark and she hasn't reappeared. Meanwhile, there are official looking men in inflatable boats yelling at him. He's passed some invisible boundary that is off limits. Of course he hasn't a clue as to how to maneuver the boat and the men in the inflatables decide to push him back out of the restricted area. And then the Coast Guard board. He tells them the owner is down below, talk to her. When they come back up, Mick finds himself being arrested. The boat owner is dead.
As bizarre as this is, Mick then finds himself jailed with Walter Lynch, an extraordinarily charismatic and wealthy guy, who is in jail for a parole violation. Coincidentally, Lynch is looking for someone to help out with his 80' sailing yacht. So Mick hires on. Walter assigns his lawyer to help clear up Mick's legal difficulties. Mick's life is coming together - he even finds love with a bright, former model named Becky Marks. Suddenly he's in the middle of murder, mystery, romance and intrigue as one of Miami's most wanted men.
I had fun reading Someday Comes. Having felt that overriding urge to go sailing at whatever cost, I understood Mick's motivation. Beyond that, the extent of twists and the very originality of the plot surprised me. The fact that Harry Munns has written popular text books on sailing certainly adds to this thriller. Outside the fun of sailing, Munns also does a fine job with building characters. In the same way he builds on the plot, he adds more and more depth to his characters, so that all of their actions are believable and contribute to the overall story.
If there is a fault with the book, it is its formatting. It is not broken into chapters so when it switches to a whole different character and location, at first it takes a moment to catch up and figure out what's going on. When this happened, I found if I just kept reading (like I had a choice - this is a page turner), it all made sense eventually.
I believe that of all the genres of fiction, thrillers tend to make the best movies since the strength of this type of novel does not lie in the written word as much as it in its ability to capture us up in intrigue, action and imaginative landscapes. I think Someday Comes could be made into a very decent movie. Meanwhile, it's a enjoyable sailing thriller with enough physical action to keep the landlubber entertained.
- Amazon reader rating: from 4 reviews
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Bibliography: (with links to Amazon.com)
- Someday Comes (1998)
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- Official website for the Harry Munns
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About the Author:
Harry Munns was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts. He attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he studied mass communications and theater. He went on to work in radio, TV and theater. In 1983, he was given an opportunity to turn his favorite hobby, sailing, into an occupation. He co-founded the American Sailing Association (ASA), a national association of sailing schools, instructors and sailors. As ASA's Education Director, has trained over 300 professional sailing instructors and has taught hundreds of people to sail throughout the US. He holds a US Coast Guard Master's license.
Harry Munns also edits and writes two newsletters and has written a best selling text book on cruising. In addition, he writes magazine articles on a variety of subjects from the Internet to TV production in Russia. His work has appeared in Consumer's Digest, Back Home and Friendly Exchange. In 1999, Harry won the prestigious John Sotham award for journalism, for an article which appeared in Men's Fitness.
He still sails whenever possible, skis, and snowboards. He lives in southern California with his wife Cindy.