Excerpt from Change of Heart by Jack Allen, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Change of Heart

by Jack Allen

Change of Heart
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Jul 2001, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"They're attacking! They're attacking!" Jurgen shouted. The other man was screaming a stream of obscenities.

"Settle down," Josh shouted. He was holding the vest open with one hand and the girl's wrist in the other. He didn't need a flashlight to see the look of horror on their faces. The light of the flames on the back of the Monticello was like a flare, even that far away.

Jurgen yanked on the outboard motor's pull cord. "I have to get back there," he said.

"Wait a minute," Josh yelled. He leaned over the gunwale and tried to grab the one guy by the collar of his jacket, but he was just out of reach. The sailboat keeled to the starboard side, the hull groaning as if in pain, and Josh scrambled to keep from falling into the water.

Jurgen wasn't listening anyway. The motor fired and he steered the Zodiac in the direction of the Monticello, shouting something Josh couldn't hear over the noise of the motor. Josh watched them go, his mouth hanging open. They were just a black blob with a bright yellow outline on the shimmering water moving toward the burning ship.

Another loud boom startled Josh again. He saw a flash of flame from the gun on the deck of the attack ship to the left of the Monticello. It lit the attack ship's hull, allowing Josh to see some details. Travis said it was small and fast, but it looked immense compared to the Monticello.

The Monticello exploded again. The blast rocked the smaller ship and snapped it in half. It sagged in the middle and began to sink. The attack ship moved in the direction of the sailboat, turning toward the tiny black shape of the Zodiac that bounced on the waves. A searchlight on the deck of the attack ship scanned in lazy arcs over the water. The beam was so bright Josh could see it penetrate a few feet into the greenish water.

He kept his eyes on the Zodiac and the attack ship as he struggled to get the girl into the lifevest. He was breathing hard and his hands were shaking. The distance between the Zodiac and the attack ship closed rapidly. He knew Jurgen felt he had to get back to rescue anyone who might be in the water, but he looked crazy enough to take on the attack ship himself.

The motor of the Zodiac was just a buzz. Behind it, the light from the fire on the Monticello faded as the ship went under. The spotlight passed over the Zodiac then backed up to find it again and stayed with it. Josh could see Jurgen and the other guy shielding their eyes and waving and shouting. They were cut off by the roar of a heavy caliber machine gun.

Josh watched in horror. The entire Zodiac was obscured by a thousand jets of water that sprayed up when the large bullets struck the surface around the boat. A second later it stopped and there was nothing in the bright, white light but the shredded remains of the rubber Zodiac hull, which quickly disappeared beneath the surface.

Then the only sound was the deep, low rumble of the attack ship's diesel motors and the only light was that of the powerful searchlight dancing over the tops of the waves, coming closer.

Josh knew he had to move fast to get himself and the girl off the sailboat and he only had a couple of minutes to do it. In the pitch blackness he managed to get the life vest on the girl. Glancing back at the attack ship, he decided he had enough time to go back into the sailboat. He remembered seeing something down there that would be useful.

Holding his hand over the end of the flashlight to prevent the attack ship from seeing the light, he searched through the debris. Floating in the water, which was deeper than the last time he walked in it, was a self inflating life raft. He grabbed it and stuffed it into his jacket, then went back up. The searchlight was closer. He grabbed the girl, pulled her to the edge of the boat on the port side, away from the attack ship, and lowered her into the water. She went under briefly and the life vest brought her back to the surface, where she floated on her back. Josh jumped in just as the searchlight passed over the sailboat and froze on it.

Copyright 2000 Burping Frog Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.