American Kingfish Association by Charles Darner

American Kingfish Association by Charles Darner
Tournament Fishing and Piracy on Florida’s First Coast

Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full length (348 pages)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Mistflower

American Kingfish Association is a crime thriller set around tournament fishing and missing boats. Even though this is fiction, as with any good fishing story, there underlines some truth. As fishing stories go, AKA could be about that one that got away or was the one captured in the net.

Jarratt Summer is an avid Kingfish tournament fisherman. He has combined his love of fishing and the sea with his work at American Marine Insurance. Jarratt is on a personal quest to become a winner on Florida’s First Coast king fishing circuit. His goal is to earn a place at the Kingfish Super Bowl Tournament being held in St Lucie, FL. With the unexpected death of a co-worker, Jarratt is promoted to SIU/ Special Investigative Unit. Once here, Jarratt uncovers schemes for filing false insurance claims along with other schemes to bilk money from his employer. Jarratt attempts to put the pieces of the scheme together while avoiding being entrapped or worse killed.

I predict the author, Charles Darner, is going to be on the number one New York Times Bestsellers list. It’s only a matter of time before he gets the recognition. American Kingfish Association is his first book but no one would ever guess that. The writing style is remarkable. I can say this because I haven’t the first clue about fishing of any kind. After reading this story about the Kingfish tournament, I am intrigued to learn more.
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I was riveted to my seat when the “reel’s clicker went off”. I didn’t know what a reel clicker was but I could feel the adrenaline running through the crew as they went through the process of bringing the fish in. I was just as disappointed as the characters when the line broke. It takes talent to write a book that consistently made me feel like I was with the characters every step of the way. It’s a greater talent when I didn’t feel lost or bored with all the details since I hadn’t a clue about the subject matter. From the description I was able to visualize the reel clicker as part of the rising rod that they crank to bring the fish in.

It is really important to make clear that this is not a “how to fish” book. This is an action/thriller, “hold on to your seat because you have no idea what is going to happen next”, type of novel. My son is the one that encouraged me to give this book a try. As a rule, it’s not the type of book I’d typically choose to read but I honestly couldn’t put it down! I read it in two days because it was that good. My preferred genre is romance, so I am pleased to tell you that there was a small romance with the leading character, Jarratt Summer, tucked in with the action.

Jarratt, Charlie, Adam and Sarah are the main characters. Together they make up the crew that wants to win the Kingfish tournament. There’s quite a varied cast of characters threaded throughout the plot, all of whom are well-developed. Their characterization is effective enough to make me believe the bad guys are truly bad. As for the good guys, I am not able to pick a favorite but I’d lean heavily on choosing Charlie as my favorite. He’s the kind of friend I’d want to have in my life.

The synopsis shared some exciting elements that might be intriguing to a reader but it’s important that I highlight that I found this novel unique. First, my interest was piqued by, “Jarratt attempts to put the pieces of the scheme together while avoiding being entrapped or worse, killed”. I was pleasantly surprised by the author’s vivid imagination and how he engaged my full attention. Second, he demonstrated a skill with words that was creative, making this novel a highly entertaining read and hard for me to put down. It’s a challenge to interest and involve a reader who knows next to nothing about the subject matter, yet delivers a solid and well-rounded story that reels in a reader like it did me. Pun intended *G*.

The plot flowed smoothly from beginning to end carrying me along on an anxiety provoking ride. There were moments I felt scared, happy or disappointed, and there was one time I even laughed. I was mostly invested in figuring how in the heck Jarratt was going to get out of the mess he got himself into.

The most exciting thing about this book isn’t that all the plot threads were tied up the way I like it, which is super important to me, but that the story cleverly hints there might be a sequel! I am very excited about that because I loved this book. In fact, I’m going to buy one for my dad for Father’s day and for my nephew for his birthday. They both love to fish and would enjoy all the action since they both love thriller/action/adventure movies. In fact, I won’t be surprised if this becomes a blockbuster someday.

I enthusiastically recommend reading American Kingfish Association! It definitely “hooked” me.

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