Deep Water Blues. Fred Waitzkin. Illustrated by John Mitchell. Open Road Media. Copyright May 2019. $7.99; pb, 160 pp.; ISBN: 9781504057738.
This is a story about creating beauty and prosperity in the already gorgeous Bahama Island. On the Island of Rum Cay, Bobby Little uses his popularity to create businesses that offer superb hospitality and atmosphere to welcome rich tourists. He’s very good at it but unconsciously elicits jealousy from those less successful. Fisherman are more than welcome here and Bobby often dreams of catching a huge marlin, yes like something out of the book or movie The Old Man and the Sea.
Tragedy strikes when numerous Haitian refugees around found dead after their boat fails and Bobby and his friends have to find and bury more bodies than anyone could imagine. It changes everything, casting gloom and horror over the whole area. It certainly changes Bobby who takes off for his annual European visit and returns to find someone else has begun to develop the marina at Rum Cay and elsewhere. Bobby at first is friendly about it but when the challenge becomes less than friendly, Bobby meets it head-on. And his nemesis Dennis will come to an untimely demise!
Fred Waitzkin is a highly skilled writer who knows how to depict beautiful scenery, love of water life, marinas and beach life as well as outstanding character development. Bobby is a charismatic individual whose magnanimous nature is what attracts people to his marina. He is never demanding or demeaning and is without grandiose dreams although he could be if financial developer if he chose such a goal. One reads and picks up the peaceful nature of Bobby’s world but then feels the tension when Dennis enters the scene with his grand plans. Islands are places of peace, not meant for violence and competition. Run Cay’s integrity is maintained through the natural development of change and conflict. Finely crafted, Fred Waitzkin!