- File Size: 925 KB
- Print Length: 236 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1387025686
- Publisher: PublishNation (June 20, 2017)
- Publication Date: June 20, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0731M5FNY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,861,433 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Galleón and Seven Other Tales Kindle Edition
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As for the yarns, they are a stimulating mix of suspense with some humor thrown in. Some of the principal characters have similar traits in that they are clever, manipulative and cunning, although not exactly honest. And even though things go well for the characters, you nevertheless feel certain something will soon go wrong and I guess this is the ingredient that continually maintains your interest.
Merry uses a frugal prose style without over stuffing his stories that depict remarkable happenings that are eventually transformed into memorable tales where the lives of his characters are changed for the better by these amazing experiences that befall them.
The collection begins with its longest narrative, GALLEÓN, THE SPANISH TREASURE FLEET 1715 which moves backward in time and tells the story of a Spanish ship, the Santa Carolina containing treasures of gold, silver and jewels that was struck by a hurricane in 1715.
Fast forward to Jan 10th, 2017 when a small crew comprising an Engineer, a Mate and four deckhand's were on their way to deliver a luxurious yacht to employees of a wealthy owner in Colon, Panama. While travelling to their destination, the yacht runs into difficulty as fishing nets were impeding its propellers. Consequently, the crew were forced to steer the yacht to a tiny spit of land and it is here where one of the mates, Harry Rojas discovers the ports of a hull of a ship as well as a heavy, decorated coin. On further inspection, Harry notices that on one side of the coin was a cross with barred ends and a lion rampant in the lower left corner and around the edge were the letters 'HISPAN.' On the other side was a barred gate and above a numeral '8' and letters lining the rim spelled 'VMR' several times. Harry slips the coin in his pocket without telling anyone of his finding and this was enough for him to speculate that there were all kinds of explanations which in turn eventually leads him and some members of his crew to discover quite a treasure but not without several challenges along the way.
Each of the remaining eclectic mix of stories may be much shorter than the first one but nonetheless they are rarely short on impact. Among the themes are convicts who, for a price, can buy their way out of prison, an innocent bystander to a bank robbery that leads to some life threatening encounters, a miracle concerning a seminarian who is able to speak and see Saint James, an ex-convict who wins a Power Ball Lottery worth millions and his relationship with his family, an old man who performs a favor, a jewellery robbery and a priest that listens to a confession.
If I were to point out one of Merry's outstanding strengths, it would have to be his knack for creating plausible situations with credible characters and dialogue. I look forward to reading more from Merry who has shown himself to have abundant writing talent.
Galleon, the book title, is also the first story of eight. A delivery crew sails a luxury yacht from Miami to Panama for a rich buyer. They are delayed on their way when their props get entangled with abandoned fishing net in Panama’s Bay of Mosquitos. Forced to the shore to untangle the mess, the Mate, Harry Rojas finds what he believes is the wreck of a Spanish treasure galleon hidden in an inlet. After delivering the yacht Harry presents a plan to his boat-owner boss outlining how the vessel could be explored. An expedition is mounted and some treasure, including an exquisite sapphire and gold broach, is recovered. Then, an abandoned container washes up near their anchorage and the Panama Marine Patrol arrives to investigate. Fortunately, their difficulties are resolved in a unique manner and upon their return home, the treasure is disposed of in a way that brings a final twist to the story.
‘Escape’ explores the little-known world of prison breaks. Jon Hawkins operates a company that for a large sum of money, will organize the escape of a prisoner from his or her place of incarceration. The costs are high, the risks higher. Each job is planned down to the last detail and in the breakout described, an ingenious diversion is employed.
‘Hideaway’ tells of an ordinary young man who while making a routine delivery, becomes involved in a bank robbery. He escapes serious injury but the robbers, realizing there is an eyewitness to the crime, come looking for him. After his police protection is compromised, he retreats to Sierra National Forrest until he can be called to identify the thieves in a line-up. There, he lives builds a shelter and lives off the land. When he returns to civilization to assess the situation, he finds the robbers now have a good idea where he’s hiding and are determined to eliminate him. A twist in the story tells how the tables are turned on the bandits.
In ‘The Miracle’, Merry uses his fertile imagination and knowledge of the Church to take you inside a confidential meeting between a Bishop and the Director of a Seminary as they discuss the proposed placement of graduates over a gourmet supper. When it’s revealed by the Director that one graduate claims to have been visited by a Saint, the Bishop empowers him to investigate while protecting the integrity of the Catholic Church. What occurs next shows how the faith of the Director is tested and how he responds.
‘Lottery’ is the story of a recently released young offender who is determined to alter his ways. Rejected by nearly all of his family, one younger brother agrees to help him get back on his feet. He uses the small amount of money he was released with to buy a meal and with the change, purchases a Power Ball lottery ticket. He almost throws it away but his brother tells him to wait while he checks the numbers. It’s then he finds he has won almost two hundred and fifty million dollars. You are lead through the process of making a claim and then intelligently investing the money. He reaches out to his family and is surprised with their reaction to his good fortune.
‘The Old Man’ explores the world of a former revolutionary fighter who has retired to his country’s high peaks to live out his remaining years. A note from his former commander requesting a favor reminds him that service to one’s country is never-ending. He agrees to help out by taking two young men into his care for a few weeks and teaching them that life in the mountains is very different to what they are accustomed. The boys he takes in, are fascinated when they learn of the old man’s former life and what he can teach them.
‘Triple Cross’ takes you into the world of Tony Parks, a man who lives by his wits. One “project” at a time he accumulates the money to allow him to lead an expensive and enjoyable lifestyle. Anything that does not involve violence will be considered if it can make him money. He concludes that couriers who travel the world delivering expensive jewelry, could be his next target. He contacts a partner and between them they plan and execute the robbery of half a million dollars in expensive gems. Unfortunately the partner turns out to be less than honest and attempts to pull a double cross. Tony realizes this and turns the double into a triple.
‘Confession’ brings to life (albeit briefly!) a legend of the old west. Father Edward Downey, a Catholic Priest in the town of Defiance, Colorado, is called to give the last rights to a notorious gunfighter. He finds the man to be an educated Latin speaker and at his request, hears his confession. It turns out to be one of the most famous stories ever related and the dying man tells Father Downey, how he came to be in this quiet town. While the man never reveals his name, the Priest learns enough to guess his true identity.
In this, Merry’s third book of short stories, we are again treated to a wide spectrum of characters and situations that take the reader on exciting journey’s through a world which we have only known of in our dreams. An excellent read!