Run for the Devil

by J.J. Ballesteros (iUniverse, 2017, 282 pages; $18.95 print, $3.99 Kindle edition)

Review by Wayne Gagnon

Run for the Devil centers around protagonist Simon Donovan, a sailor who ferries people and supplies along the shores of Mexico’s Bay of Campeche aboard his 65-foot schooner, Siete Mares. He’d brought her there and started his business to re-boot his life. He has a good reputation as someone who follows the rules, and at the same time knows how to get things done.

This is the stage on which Donovan’s life begins to unravel. Despite his capability as a sailor and businessman, Donovan is given to human weaknesses, primarily when it comes to women. And we learn Siete Mares has secrets of her own, as she’d previously sailed as Moonlight Runner until being intercepted by the U. S. Coast Guard in Texas with a load of cocaine aboard.

Author James Ballesteros was a federal agent who investigated international weapons and drug trafficking in Columbia and Mexico, so he certainly has the background and knowledge to tell a story like this one with credibility. The plot is straightforward but contains enough twists to keep things moving and interesting and not entirely predictable. A few characters in the book are developed in a manner that made me sure they’d be seen again, but then they disappeared from the story.

Run for the Devil is intriguing and offers a little something for anyone who enjoys a story that moves well and keeps you wondering what will happen next.

Wayne Gagnon is a semi-retired English teacher from Antigo, Wisconsin.  He’s been sailing Tortuga, his 1969 Westerly Centaur, on the bay of Green Bay in northern Lake Michigan since 2004, and sometime in the next year or two he wants to make it over to Lake Huron’s North Channel.  In the mean time he’s content to sail Green Bay and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula


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