Excerpt from A Deadly Exchange by Sheryl Jane Stafford, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

A Deadly Exchange

by Sheryl Jane Stafford

A Deadly Exchange by Sheryl Jane Stafford X
A Deadly Exchange by Sheryl Jane Stafford
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Jan 2001, 364 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Drugs," he said flatly. "They're after drugs." "Are you sure? Where did it come from?" "I don't know. "It's probably heroin or cocaine or something like that. And we can guess who put it here. I don't know why, but I know who. This isn't all. There's more behind that wall. And they want it." "Well, let's just give it to them." "It's not that simple. You see, babe, we know. We know about their drugs. We know what they look like. We mean trouble to them. We're a liability. They might think they have to get rid of us and sink the boat." "Oh, no, Matt!" "Turn off the flashlight." "Your hand?" "It's okay." She extinguished the light and they sat in the dark, not speaking. Matt heard her breathing, quick and shallow. The wind, blowing out of the northwest, moaned in the rigging. He felt the cabin closing in around him and inhaled deeply with measured breaths.

"I'm gonna have to open one of the windows in the head," he told her. I can't…" He unlatched a window, inhaled the moist night air.

"What are we going to do?" Alex asked when he returned. "I don't know just yet. We have to think." They sat still while their minds raced to make some sense out of what was happening to them. Alex broke the silence.

"I have an idea." "What?" "We could hide the bags on the Island and show those guys that we don't have them on board. You know, then if they want the stuff, they would have to do as we say. And they couldn't do anything to us because if they did, they'd never find the drugs on their own. They might not want to risk losing whatever it is. They'd have no choice but to cooperate. You say we just can't give it to them because of what they might do, so we won't." Matt rubbed his chin as he considered her suggestion.

"Actually, that makes good sense. If we hide the bags, we have a bargaining chip. Just might work," he said nodding. "Let's do it." "Now what?" "Help me get the rest of it out of the locker. We'd better hurry. God knows what those guys are up to." "Please hold me a minute," she said softly. "Just a minute." Alex rested her head on his shoulder and leaned into him, trembling. He stroked her hair for a moment.

"There," he said and gently pushed her away. "We have to hurry." "Okay, what do you want me to do?" "Hold the flashlight while I make a bigger opening." Matt feverishly chipped and hacked out the remaining packages, twenty altogether. Alex's hands shook as she stacked the powder-filled bags on the dinette table. "I wonder what all this is worth?" he said. "Probably a lot, maybe thousands. Let's triple-bag the stuff in those freezer things we planned to put fish in, you know, the jumbos." Alex pulled out a box of extra-large freezer bags which they quickly filled and sealed.

"I can't believe this is happening," she said. "It's happening." "We're going to be okay, aren't we Matt?" "Check to make sure they're closed," he said as they worked. "I don't want water to seep inside and spoil the goods." Alex silently examined each package. When they finished, Matt grabbed a heavy-duty trash bag and stuffed the packages inside.

"Get me a sail bag," he said. "I'll put everything inside it." Alex felt the wind buffet the boat and shivered.

"Now I'm going to hide this somewhere on the Island, and I don't want you to know where it is." "Matt…" "I think that the less you know, the safer you'll be. I'm going to take this ashore. I won't be long. You'll be okay after you put the pole in place. No one will be able to get in." "But I want to go with you." "I know, babe," he said and drew her to him, "but this is the best way. I can move faster by myself. I don't want to have to worry about you. Really, I'll do better by myself." "But…" "I'm going to climb out the hatch and then you put the pole back. I'll leave you the thirty-eight." "But Matt…" "Listen, dammit," he said as he gripped her shoulders, "we don't have time for this. I have to get the bags ashore. I promise I'll be back before you know it, in a half hour or less." She nodded.

Copyright Sheryl Jane Stafford, 2001. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of Sheryl Jane Stafford.

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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

    A riveting story of survival, and the power of stories to save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

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.