Charlie Sweetwater saw Mexico—especially the Mexican Gulf Coast—as a spiritual second home. He’d worked, played and lived there for much of his life, and thought the country suited him better than anywhere this side of his home on the Texas Coast.
But now a worrisome and potentially dangerous development has shown up on Charlie’s radar. Young Augustus Sweetwater, affectionately known as Augie, hasn’t reported in after completing a south-of-the-border sales trip for Sweetwater Marine. Raul, Augie’s father and Charlie’s nephew, is worried sick. Drug cartel violence in Mexico has reached epidemic proportions and Augie’s path took him through the heart of the narcotraficantes’ territory.
Charlie figures Augie just went off the grid to do some well-deserved fishing, surfing and beer-drinking at the end of his trip. He’d done the same in his time. But as Augie’s unexplained absence grows, Charlie and Raul become increasingly alarmed and set off for Mexico to bring their boy home.
What they unearth is far more than the sum of their fears. The familiar and friendly Gulf of Mexico has turned into a hidden sea plagued by smugglers, human traffickers, crooked politicians and even pirates. And Augie is lost somewhere in the middle of it all.
Charlie and Raul must summon an unlikely cast of characters to aid them, including a hilariously dissolute ex-pat musician, a priest whose faith struggles against the rising tide of refugee migration, a Mexican tycoon who may have secrets of his own and a beautiful maritime “repo man”. At the end of their quest, as the deepest secret of all is revealed, Charlie Sweetwater learns that neither Raul and Augie, nor the Gulf of Mexico, nor even himself, will ever be the same again.
Hidden Sea was extremely well thought out and realistic. I have read in other reviews on this tour that I'm not the only one that was a little bit intimidated by the subject matter thinking it felt too real.
I will admit to missing a few of the hints at the beginning because when that reveal happened at the end I was awestruck. I was pleasantly surprised, yet confused enough that I had to go back and read the first part again. I shouldn't have rushed through the foundation, which is an issue I have both inside and outside reading. I just want the finished cookies at the end of the baking process and to skip me burning them three times because I'm not paying close enough attention. I will say that you sure do appreciate those finished cookies more after taking three rounds to get them right, but I'd recommend in this case to just pay attention to all the detail this story has to offer the first time around because it makes those punches at the end so much more impactful.
So, when I actually took my time the second time, the cookie was delicious! (I'll stop with the cookie analogies now and make my husband cook me some when he gets home.) I realized how precisely and beautiful all the puzzle pieces fit together and how carefully considered all the prior details truly were. The best part was you didn't even realize the pieces were missing until they were handed to you. Each reveal was perfectly placed some made you think and some made you sigh a breath you didn't realize you were holding in. The twists just got better and better as they were unwound. It was a stunning, complete picture as everything wrapped up.
I found out after finishing the book that three friends sit around and make up these stories together and I got immediately jealous. I want friends like that! This brings another dimension to the stories and makes me want to go read the rest of the books in the series to join in on the fun they must have had. I've heard two heads are better than one and this story proves that three is even more phenomenal.
“Miles Arceneaux” is the pen name of three long-time Texas friends. James R. Dennis is a former attorney turned Dominican friar who lives in San Antonio. Brent Douglass is an international businessman from Austin. John T. Davis, also of Austin, is a journalist and author. Together, as “Miles,” they have been featured authors at the Texas Book Festival, the San Antonio Book Festival, and the Lubbock Book Festival.
Grand Prize: Signed copies of all five Gulf Coast books by Miles Arceneaux + a copy of Geoff Winningham's Traveling the Shore of the Spanish Sea -- The Gulf Coast of Texas and Mexico
Two Runners-Up: Each win an autographed copy of Hidden Sea
October 11-October 20, 2017
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10/11 - Promo - Texas Book Lover
10/12 - Review - Forgotten Winds
10/12 - ICYWW #1 - Bibliotica
10/13 - Review - Missus Gonzo
10/14 - Excerpt 1 - Syd Savvy
10/14 - Author Interview - A Page Before Bedtime
10/15 - Review - Texan Girl Reads
10/16 - Guest Post - StoreyBook Reviews
10/16 - ICYWW #2 - Chapter Break Book Blog
10/17 - Review - Hall Ways Blog
10/18 - Excerpt 2 - Books and Broomsticks
10/18 - Playlist - The Page Unbound
10/19 - Review - Reading By Moonlight
10/20 - Review - Tangled in Text
10/20 - ICYWW #3 - The Librarian Talks