Wettamesett was supposed to be a safe shore town, the kind of place to escape the heat and crime of Boston, where Dan Kardon practices law. Not the kind of place where a clean-cut college kid would be mysteriously shot dead. But one was.
The police are dragging their feet, calling it a random act. The boy's parents don't buy it. They want answers, and Kardon, a close friend, is determined to find them. Butting heads with the cops and an eccentric breed of locals, however, can get a maverick investigator beaten up. A lot. And bring him closer to the truth. For Kardon's search has turned up some big clues--and even bigger enemies out to leave him dead, unless he can fins them first.
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Jamie Katz is an assistant district attorney general who lives in Watertown, Massachusetts, with his wife and daughter. Like Dan Kardon, he owns an ancient New Zealand weapon known as an adze. Dead Low, Tide is his first novel.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Hey, you old fart," a voice called from behind me. I tried to stepbackward but my legs were buried almost to my knees in wet sand. Two kids were piling more on while another one splashed me from the shallow water at the edge of the beach. I twisted around as best I could. Higher on the beach stood Aaron Winters, nineteen years old and just over six feet tall, in tight black biking shorts, a bright orange and blue skin-hugging shirt, purple wraparound sunglasses, and an iridescent-blue biking helmet. Nobody else on the beach wore anything more than a bathing suit.
"Wanna ride?" Aaron asked.
Who you calling old?"
"Anyone who can't keep up with me." e flipped a long stray lock of brown hair that hadescaped from his helmet off his forehead.
"What's my reward for beating your butt?" I asked.
"Tell you what," he said, "you just stay in the same time zone with me, I'll take you to a cool place. Not many people know about it."
"Piece of cake."
"Let's go. I'll make sure we have a wheelchair for when you get back."
I extricated myself from the sand and the clutches of the small builders. After leaving the beach and showering off the sand, I changed into blue jean shorts and a T-shirt.
We took off down a long dirt driveway, leaving behind a cottage. At the end of the driveway we met up with Ann and Frank, the owners of the cottage, who were headed off, buckets in hand, to pick wild blueberries.
"I know Aaron talked you into biking with him, but you don't have to," Ann said to me. "You just got here, so if you want to hang out at the beach, just relax, that's fine."
"I -- "
"Come on, Ann," Frank said, cutting me off. "You think he can't handle a short ride in the country with Aaron? You think he'll get tired just sitting on a bike for a couple of hours? Not our Dan Kardon, athlete extraordinaire. He'll ride poor little Aaron into the ground."
"Frank, don't be obnoxious," Ann responded.
"Hey, it's okay, I'm happy to bike," I said. "I'll try to go easy on him. You guys just make sure to get plenty of blueberries, so Frank can get the taste of humble pie out of his mouth later on."
Ann and Frank were Aaron's legal guardians, as well as close friends of mine dating back to college. Their cottage sits three miles north of the center of the town of Wettamesett. It stands back from a narrow gravel road, with a big covered porch on three sides and a large lawn. To the east, a creek meanders out through the salt marsh. Stone-pocked beaches extend up and down the shore. A slender channel runs through the middle of the creek, leading to a quiet cove on Buzzards Bay, on the coast of southeastern Massachusetts.
The house had been handed down in Ann's family, and she'd spent most of her summers as a child there, swimming, fishing, clamming, and sailing. Once Ann and Frank had their own children, Linda and Greg, the cycle started over. Ann showed her kids all the best tidal pools, the places in the creek where the eels hung out, and how to find the largest quahogs.
After a few years, Ann and Frank spent their entire summers at the cottage. Frank commuted to his office at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, staying at their house in Cambridge during the week. Ann, a biology professor at Tufts University, had the summers off.
We'd stayed good friends, or as good as a single guy and a family can be. I was an honorary uncle, coming over for dinner and taking the kids out to ball games and museums. But Ann and Frank spent most of their social time alone or with other parents and families. I spent mine on basket ball courts, in bars, and in front of televisions.
Usually, Ann and Frank invited me to visit the cottage once or twice during the summer. I wasn't much good on their sailboat except as ballast, but I'd take the kids out fishing, beat Frank in golf, and was happy to clean dishes.
Aaron Winters and I first met on one of my visits to the cottage in the summer of 1988, when he was nine years old. He was the son of Ann's cousin, and he came for a visit with his mother and father while I was there.
Aaron had no brothers or sisters. When he was eleven years old, his mother died of breast cancer. Ann and Frank had him visit as often as he could. Two years later his father died of a heart attack, then Aaron came to live with Ann and Frank and their two kids. The summer after his father died, he spent almost all his waking hours alone, clamming on the tidal flats, shooting basketballs, or sailing in a small Laser sailboat out on Buzzards Bay.
But Ann and Frank worked at integrating him into their family. In time, he laughed and joked with his younger cousins. After high school, he'd gone to Southeastern Coastal College outside the city of New Bedford, not far from Wettamesett. He did well his first year, found friends, joined a couple of clubs, and enjoyed himself. Now on the cusp of his sophomore year, he planned to live in the family cottage with a couple of buddies and commute to school. He was a good kid, but one still facing the collegiate gauntlet of newfound freedom, peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, and sex, with the added burden of the loss of his parents.
When I visited the family, I made a point of doing something with Aaron, usually athletic. He'd beat me at whiffle ball, but I could still take him in golf or basketball. We talked about sports, school, and girls, but often he chose not to talk much at all.
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Book Description HarperTorch. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 006109711X New paperback. Bookseller Inventory # SKU1000436
Book Description HarperTorch, 1998. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX006109711X
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800610971191.0