Author: Roger Chaney
Publisher: Patriot Media, Incorporated (2013)
Binding: Paperback, 178 pages
Carquinez Straits by Roger Chaney is the story of a man nearing the end of his Navy career when his life goes completely off the rails. Reporting to his final sea duty, Lieutenant Commander Noel Brandt finds an unfit and arrogant man in command of the USS Mount Saint Helens, Captain Robert Sutton. The crew of the ship nicknames the captain “Mongo” after the violent and disagreeable Blazing Saddles character who terrifies the townspeople.
Brandt’s decision to make the best of this bad situation is precarious, at best, and when Captain Sutton goes missing after a public disagreement with Brandt, Brandt finds himself topping the list of suspects in the captain’s disappearance. To further complicate issues, Brandt’s new girlfriend murdered in her home shortly after the captain goes missing, leading the police to suspect Brandt as the murderer.
Carquinez Straits is a fast-paced mystery book with plenty of plot twists, right up until the last few pages.
Chaney’s use of the details of life in the Navy, culled from his own experience, are interesting and enlightening, especially to those who have never served in the Navy. The book also resonates with those who have served, bringing back memories of their own.
Reviewed by: Betsy Beard (2014)
Carquinez Straits is a Who-Dun-It mystery involving a United States Navy career officer in a bizarre murder and missing person’s investigation. As his career in the Navy is winding down, Lieutenant Commander Noel Brandt reports to his new and last sea duty command aboard an aging ammunition ship USS Mount Saint Helens, commanded by a tyrant, Captain Robert (Mongo) Sutton. Noel is determined to make the best of the situation with his commander and finds comfort in a relationship with a beautiful woman fifteen years his junior. Noel soon finds himself under police scrutiny when Captain Sutton ends up missing, and LCDR Brandt becomes a suspect in not one, but possibly two murders.