Aground by Charles Williams

Aground by Charles Williams

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A widow and a charter captain scour the ocean for a stolen yacht

When Ingram lands in Miami, he doesn’t even have time to finish his bath before the police come knocking. The out-of-work charter captain has just returned from Nassau, where he was looking to buy a boat on behalf of a millionaire. But the day after he toured the seventy-foot Dragoon, his “millionaire” disappeared, and the yacht went with him. Ingram convinces the cops that he was only an unwitting accomplice in stealing the boat, and offers to help recover it for the owner, a beautiful widow with secrets of her own. He only has eight thousand square miles of open ocean to search. 

Finding the ship is the easy part. Escaping it will be harder, as Ingram finds himself caught in a tangle of lust, smuggling, and murder, surrounded by endless miles of the most beautiful water on earth.

“Admirably tense in its adroit manipulation of a very small cast—an infectiously exciting open-air thriller.” - New York Times

“Told with a clarity that looks deceptively easy.” - San Francisco Chronicle

“Reminiscent of Joseph Conrad in its evocation of man’s affinity for the ocean.” - Bill Pronzini, creator of the Nameless Detective series

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via Wikipedia:

This novel served as the basis for The Dictator's Guns (French: L'Arme à gauche), a 1965 French and Italian crime film directed by Claude Sautet.