Author: J. M. Taylor
Publisher: Screaming Eagle Press (2010)
Binding: Paperback, 292 pages
Gulf Winds introduces Ulysses (a.k.a. Uly) Grant, a recently returned veteran of the war in Iraq who is searching for a bit of tranquility among the Florida mangroves and the financial security provided by a tiny bit of harmless computer fraud. Instead, Uly finds himself in the middle of a drug drop, entangled with a mysterious woman, terrorists, intrigue and cross-conspiracies, all attempting to influence off-shore oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
It began in Iraq. Members of a Florida National Guard unit are clearing a road of IEDs. Ordered back to camp, their Humvees are ambushed. Later, back in the world, members of the unit find their lives entwined by current events.
The author spins a complex tail with multiple twists and turns. A wounded veteran's struggle to return to the world, air dropped "square flounders," an attempted drug rip off, some snakes, several mad Cubans with ties to al Qaida, and a greyhound named Flash. Oh yes, a few good looking women, too. Add a few Katyusha rockets, an Arab fanatic, a couple of bad cops, and two computer experts for flavor. Cook slowly for a long week, and you have Gulf Winds.
The story is set in the author's back yard, and is filled with interesting observations about the wildlife. There is enough action for several books, and the reader is kept guessing until the last page.
Don't start the book if you are a five page reader, for you will get lost in the complicated plot. This is a good book for a rainy or a cold winter weekend. Not a book to put down and pick up days later. A cast of characters would help, and I suggest listing the characters as they appear, starting with the prologue.
A good read.
Reviewed by: Lee Boyland (2010)