Port Starbird by Garrett Dennis takes place in the small fishing island of Avon, North Carolina where Storm “Ketch” Ketchum has retired. With a good friend known as Captain, who runs a dive/fishing tourist ship called The Minnow after Gilligan’s Island and a new girlfriend named Kari, life seems looking up. Then the local bad guy, developer Bob Ingram, decides he wants Ketch’s home in order to build a major development. All the other neighbors, most of whom are vacationers and not full-time residents, have already sold their property, leaving Ketch as the sole holdout. Using strong-arm tactics, Ingram is determined to get the land no matter what it takes, and he has enough influence to manipulate the corrupt eminent domain system in order to get the land for much less than it is worth. Thus, to guarantee that he will get to keep his home, Ketch, whose parents were such fans of noir mysteries that they named their son Storm, a name he strongly dislikes, decides to make his parents’ memory proud by going undercover to find dirt on Ingram in order to stop the man whom he suspects of having murdered his two wives.
Despite the fact that this book received several significant awards, I didn’t enjoy it very much. It seemed to move rather slowly, though I can appreciate that the pace fits the lifestyle of the fishing island. I also didn’t really like how much sex the book contains, though I’m glad that there were no graphic sex scenes. However, the amount of time that Ketch and Kari spend between the sheets, in the hammock, or on the boat, along with their dirty talk to each other, gets excessive and seems unnecessary. My final complaint is that the book has this amazing dog in it named Jack, but unless someone was speaking directly to Jack, the book refers to him always as “the dog,” never Jack. This comes across as impersonal and really grated on my nerves.
The book is read by Bob Johnson, who does a good job of suiting his voice to the narration. His voices suit the characters well, and he does good accents. His voice comes across as laid back and relaxing, which matches the setting well.
Port Starbird just didn’t turn out to fit my style. I actually only got it because I was given the third book in the series, but it didn’t take long for me to recognize that I would never be able to follow that book until I listened to previous two. The second and third books look more to my liking, so stay tuned for reviews of those books soon! I give this book two stars.
To purchase this book for yourself, click here on Amazon.