A lighthearted picnic of a Caribbean adventure tale, by the imaginative, writerly McCaig (Nops Trials, 1984- The Man Who Made the Devil Glad, 1986). Like most of his fellow St. Thomas inhabitants, 25-year-old airplane mechanic and pilot Winston Riviere cant quite save up enough for a down-payment on a house.
But if hes without a house, pretty schoolteacher Rosemarie wont marry him. Whats Winston to do? Steal and sell the drug-running airplane thats just been abandoned at the local airport, thats what. But just as Winston sneaks out one night to do the deed, the plane speeds off the runway towards the Dominican Republic--stolen by his old enemy, Mal Esprit, strong-arm man for Mr. Bones, himself the former aide of Rev. Jim Jones (of Guyana/poisoned Kool-Aid infamy) and now de facto dictator of Dominica.
No matter what the danger, though, Winston will get that plane, and spends his lifes savings for a boat to sail to Dominica. Meanwhile, on another island, drug-fogged, blond brat Carly Hollander pouts as she runs out of valium while her mom prepares for a face-life at an exclusive spa.
Without valium, Curly thinks shell die- whats she to do? Get drunk at Carnival and pass out in Winstons boat, thats what--where he finds her while sailing to Dominica. In the novels dramatic centerpiece, the pair weather a raging hurricane--with Carly proving to Winston that, brat or not, she has the right stuff. On Dominica, they find the island in the throes of a democratic revolution- and bighearted Winston, after bedding Curly (whos sexier than Rosemarie, anyway), steals the plane--using it not to line his own pocket, but to help overthrow Mal Esprit and the vile Mr.
Bones. Bright pastel local color and characters, plenty of patois, and a plot that calypsoes from one high note to the next: a literary pina colada, sweet but packing a giddy punch.