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
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Jan 2001, 364 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Oh, God, he thought as he raced toward the shore. That sounds like gunfire!

Matt's feet could not propel him fast enough. He felt like a man moving underwater as he untied the dinghy and shoved it into the rough sea. Because his legs trembled so badly, he thought for a moment that he wouldn't be able to lift them over the side and into the inflatable. His body responded to danger as it had in Hanoi when the Viet Cong half carried, half dragged him to the infamous torture chamber, otherwise known as the Green Knobby Room. Panic bubbled up his throat and threatened to choke him. He sobbed. As the dinghy plunged through the ragged chop, he clutched the twelve-gauge. I'm a good shot, he reassured himself, and with this, I can hit what I need to. He thought he heard the dull throb of an engine somewhere near the channel entrance. The Amani gradually took shape in the gloom. It wandered at its mooring, and this movement, coupled with his weak legs, made it difficult for him to board. Mustering all his strength, he hoisted himself over the stern rail and called out.

"Alex!" He heard waves slapping the hull and the wind tugging at the sail cover. He waited with his twelve-gauge pointed at the companionway. Because his hands had begun to quake, he gripped the gun like a vise. Overwhelmed by his concern for Alex, he leaped into the cabin and groped for a light. The air below still felt warm. Matt saw that Alex wasn't there. No one was on the boat. He quickly examined the companionway hatch and found a hole the size of a fist had been blown through it. This opening had enabled someone to reach in, remove the flag pole and hatch boards, and enter. And I told her she'd be safe. Oh, God. He felt something sticky beneath his feet and kneeled down to see what it was. It appeared that something had spilled on the floor. He fumbled for his flashlight and aimed its beam on the teak boards. To his horror, he saw blood, fresh bright blood. Lots of it.

"Alex," he whispered. "Alex." He stood up, turned off the cabin light, and crept up the steps. Crouched in the cockpit, he peeked over the stern rail and looked toward the cabin cruiser. He stared until he was dizzy. It was so dark and windy his eyes kept watering. He wiped them, blinked. There was no way around it. The Happy Hour was gone. And Alex was gone.

Matt stood up, looked to the heavens, and emitted a raging cry that was swallowed up by the wind, the waves, and the impassive night sky.

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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: All We Have Left
    All We Have Left
    by Wendy Mills
    September 11, 2001 is a date that few Americans will ever forget. It was on this day that our ...
  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

I like a thin book because it will steady a table...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

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.