Cover image for Bahamarama
Morris, Bob, 1950-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, [2004]

Physical Description:
viii, 312 pages ; 25 cm
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Two years in a Florida federal prison on bogus charges has made former Miami Dophins linebacker, Zack Chasteen, stir crazy. The first step toward getting his life back together is meeting up with his beautiful magazine mogul girlfriend, Barbara, on Harbor Island in the Bahamas. But making it out of Florida proves to be more trouble than a gator with a toothache--and even deadlier. Zack barely leaves the state alive before he discovers Barbara's been kidnapped and her ex-lover, a photographer, murdered.
Once again trouble has come knocking on Zack's door. But this time he's fighting back, with the help of a Royal Bahamanian police superintendent, his trusted mystical Taino Indian friend Boggy, and a cast of the most colorful characters ever to step into the warm Bahama sun.
As unpredictable as island trade winds, "Bahamarama" twists and turns its way to a stunning conclusion and announces the arrival of a writer who is sure to surprise and delight mystery fans for years to come. "Bahamarama "is a 2005 Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel.

Author Notes

Bob Morris is well known throughout Florida and the Southeast through his work in newspapers, magazines and television. A former columnist for the Orlando Sentinel , Fort Myers News-Press and The New York Times regional newspapers, Morris served as editor of Caribbean Travel & Life and regularly appears in National Geographic Traveler , Islands , The Robb Report , Men's Fitness , Bon Appetit and other publications. He is currently at work on his next novel, Jamaica Me Dead . He lives in Winter Park, Florida.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The one-word title of journalist Morris' debut novel stands as a hint that something is going on here. Just about every other mystery novelist would feel compelled to name a book about murder in the Bahamas something anatomical and tendentious like Blood on the Sand0 . But Morris knows how to put some bounce in his writing: his narrator has a fresh, true voice and a lode of comic cynicism. Ex-Miami Dolphin Zack Chasteen (the narrator) invites readers along on a stutter-step saga that starts with his release from a Florida federal prison. Chasteen discovers that his girlfriend has been kidnapped from their rendezvous spot on Bar Harbor Island in the Bahamas and that her ex-boyfriend has been murdered. And things get worse, much worse, from there--with Chasteen serving both as target and as canny tour guide through the rough edges of the Bahamas. This is a series to watch. --Connie Fletcher Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

As Morris's hard-boiled, edgy debut novel opens, former Miami Dolphins linebacker Zachary Chasteen is being released after serving almost two years in a Florida penitentiary on trumped-up charges. Zack longs to be reunited with Barbara Pickering, his velvet-voiced lover, who is busy in the Bahamas shooting a spread for the magazine she owns. He gets ditched mid-journey by the limo driver she's sent ahead to fetch him and is suddenly on his own, penniless and without ID. Zack hitches a ride to his childhood home, but once there, he's ambushed by the violent lackeys of Victor Ortiz, the man who framed him years before. Zack manages a narrow escape, but is faced with even more trouble. Barbara's ex-fiance, Brice, is found murdered, and she's been kidnapped with a hefty ransom on her head. Police inspector (and former football player) Lynfield Pederson and Zack put their heads together as Hurricane Curt barrels toward them. After the limo driver who originally deserted Zack is identified as a well-known deadly criminal and the probable source of all things bad, Zack gets a lucky break and speeds off to a bat-filled sea cave to confront his nemesis at the novel's bullet-ridden climax. An array of colorful locals gives the story some much-needed texture, while juicy plotting keeps this impressive page-turner simmering. Morris has produced an accomplished first novel with a priceless final scene. Agent, Joe Veltre. Regional author tour. (Oct. 20) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In this debut, described as a "suspenseful and hilarious tale of kidnapping and murder," former Miami Dolphin Zack Chasteen is out of prison and in the Caribbean. Morris lives in Winter Park, FL. Regional author tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



1 The way it works at Baypoint Federal Country Club for Wayward Males, guys sometimes throw their buddies who are checking out a going-away party, and invite the D.O's to join in. Everyone acts all chummy, guzzling Dom, firing up the Cohibas, playing Texas Hold 'Em for real hard-on money, and letting the good times roll. It's not like that at most prisons. At most prisons the guards lord over inmates, treat them like scum, sweeten their lousy state-tit paychecks by muling in merchandise. Skin magazines and dope, those are the major franchises at the low-rent lockups, with cell phones grabbing a chunk of the action---a year contract paid in advance and a flat two hundred and fifty dollars going to the D.O. who sets it up on the outside. Then the D.O. goes home to his double-wide trailer and his Dish Network TV, feeling smug and in control, thinking his tiny little life beats anything the cons can ever hope to have. But things are different at Federal Prison Camp/Baypoint, where the alumni ranks are swollen with premium-grade white-collar criminals including, at last count, two former U.S. congressmen, a past president of the Florida Senate, and enough fallen financiers to staff an M.B.A. program in advanced corporate swindling. At Baypoint, the D.O.'s lack leverage. They're just chambermaids with too much testosterone. Because it's not like they can build any equity by catering to inmate cravings. Whole different crowd. Baypointers enjoyed the good life before they got caught and fully intend to start enjoying it again the moment they get out. There's nothing they really need, and even if there were, they wouldn't obligate themselves to the hired help. So what you have at Baypoint is the D.O.'s being serious suck-ups and go-fers and actually thinking that once the Mr. Bigs get back into circulation they will look kindly upon the cheerful detention officer who used to bring fresh towels and fix the leaky toilet. Maybe find a place for him in their organization. Like that ever happens. No one threw me a bubbly send-off. No slaps on the back, no thirty-dollar cigars. And the D.O. escorting me through all the graduation-day rigamarole---a pork loaf name of Fairbanks---was definitely not playing brown-nose. Mainly because he and all the other guards thought they had me figured---just an aging jock, a bottom-feeder among the Baypoint elite, someone who'd pissed away what little he'd had, and wound up at Baypoint instead of a lowlier joint where he belonged only because he had charmed someone with a little clout. That she was a beautiful someone ticked them off even more. I had made all the stops, collected my exit papers, and Fairbanks was ushering me into Building A, the "transition lobby," with its fake leather furniture, and ficus trees dropping leaves in every corner. Two other D.O.'s were manning a counter by the last set of doors between me and the great wide open. They traded talk with Fairbanks as we walked up, making me stand there a minute, then two, playing their D.O. mind games. One of them was this black dude named Williams and the other was this pimply young white guy didn't look like he could have been more than two years out of high school. Probably brand new on the job, still developing his style, paying close attention to the older guys and mirroring the way they did it. Williams finally glanced sideways at me and grumbled, "Put your bags on the counter, Chasteen." "No bags," I said. Which got me the full turn-around from Williams. He raised up from his swivel chair and looked me over. "Mean to tell me you're leaving here and you ain't got nothing?" "Just my good looks." "Shit, then you really are traveling light, Chasteen. Let's see your papers." I gave them to him. Williams ran them one-by-one over a green-light scanner, the pimply kid taking them and sticking them in a see-through plastic pouch that also contained my driver's license, birth certificate, and passport. "You're supposed to ask me first," I said to the kid. "Ask you what?" "Do I want paper or plastic..." The kid was glaring now, only his glaring skills were still pretty lame. I kept looking at him until he looked away. Williams jerked his head toward the doors. "Chariot's waiting, Chasteen." I looked outside. A hundred yards away, beyond a Bahia grass lawn turning brown against the sun and a ten-foot chain-link fence topped with concertina wire, sat a big black SUV. One of those Cadillac Escalades it looked like---the only vehicle in the visitor's parking lot. "You sure that's here for me?" "Guy driving it asked for you," said Williams. "Figured he was here to pick you up." "A guy?" "Yeah," said Williams. "Two of 'em, as a matter of fact." Fairbanks said, "They your boyfriends, Chasteen?" I let it slide. I was trying to figure out who was sitting inside the Escalade. I wasn't expecting two guys to pick me up. I was expecting Barbara. She was the beautiful someone. Just thinking about her gave me... Put it this way: Baypoint might be the Ritz-Carlton of prisons, but the top brass cuts no slack when it comes to conjugal visits. You have to be married. To each other. No license, no nooky. And no amount of bribery could change that. I'd tried. One year, nine months, and twenty-three days. That's how long it had been. One short stretch for a monk, one giant gulch for my kind. I grabbed the plastic pouch that held my papers and turned toward the door. Fairbanks said, "We'll leave the porch light on for ya, Chasteen. So you can find your way back." "That's sweet, Fairbanks. I'll leave the porch light on for you, too." "What for?" "So you'll know where to deliver my pizza." The doors jolted open, and I left the three of them standing there, Williams saying, "Smart ass walking..." Copyright 2004 by Bob Morris Excerpted from Bahamarama by Bob Morris All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.