Proffering a literate jolt to the senses, Miles Arceneaux’s Hidden Sea gives readers food for thought with its rich and captivating narrative of human trafficking in the Gulf of Mexico. Albeit this is a work of fiction, the story is based on the reality of sea-faring enslavement, which occurs within the South Sea of China. Readers will find this entertaining story stocked with a bevy of colorful characters artfully immersed in a briny mix of adventure, humor, political corruption and pirates, set in the Gulf of Mexico. Written by a trio of well-honed authors, known as Miles Arceneaux, writing as one voice, this makes the fifth addition in their series of Gulf Coast thrillers.
A compelling read from the start, you are immediately drawn into the story when nineteen-year-old Augustus (Augie) Sweetwater wakes up tethered by chains and shoeless in a dark and dank locale. Enraged by his circumstance he struggles with remembering just how he got there. As the story changes perspectives you meet his Great Uncle Charlie Sweetwater. He’s a 68 year old, impetuous type of free spirit, with an assortment of boats, former owner of a semi-successful business and a small assortment of likable, colorful friends. Raul, Augie’s father, contacts Charlie when Augie, although known to hold the family trait of being “free wheeling”, remains unaccounted for, after two days of failing to make contact while on a business trip along the Mexican gulf. While Raul worries that his son is really a missing person, Charlie believes that he may have made a pit stop along the way and merely forgot to call anyone. However, the mystery and adventure takes on momentum when the feeling that something is amiss hounds Charlie as well as Raul, subsequently leading them to initiating an intense search for Augie. As a result, each man embarks on separate missions to find Augustus, with their excursions bringing them into contact with, friends, danger, corruption and oddball acquaintances.
Overall Hidden Sea was a terrifically worthwhile read that approached a difficult topic with appealing eloquence. Besides being shrewdly plotted with twists, emotions, revelations and personal transformations, the story hosted a cast of distinctive characters, that made the read especially entertaining. In particular, I enjoyed Charlie, he was an intriguing personality to follow. Also, I found young Augie’s transformation throughout his circumstances to be compelling. This is definitely one great read to add to the library.