An individual seeking to write books is usually best served by using their own background and/or experience to draw from. Boland certainly did so. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard for many years stationed in the Caribbean out of Key West. His experience includes actions against drug dealers looking to bring illegal drugs into the U.S. as well as interdicting Cuban refugees looking to escape Cuba.
Cole Williams, the main protagonist of this book is a graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy. His first assignment as a commissioned officer is aboard a cutter stationed at Key West and involved in drug smuggling. After two years of apparently serving with distinction he is called into the captain’s office and unceremoniously dishonorably discharged from the service.
With no place to go Cole remains on Key West and quickly gets involved in piloting small boats making runs to Cuba. There, Cuban refugees are picked up and illegally brought into the U.S. The taste of the money earned pulls him into the larger scheme of drug running out of the country of Panama. Brian Boland is quite able to paint a full picture of the life and dangers faced by the men and women illegally bringing drugs into the states.
The novel is a fast read and a view of a life and experience not known to many Americans. Cole’s story could be used to set up a series of books about him, certainly centered on the little known battles faced by the Coast Guard in protecting our southern border.
10/16 Paul Lane
CARIBBEAN’S KEEPER by Brian Boland. Warriors Publishing Group (October 11, 2016). ISBN 978-1944353117.