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The Mayday: A Jack Merchant and Sarah Ballard Novel (Jack Merchant & Sarah Ballard Novels) [Hardcover]

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Item description for The Mayday: A Jack Merchant and Sarah Ballard Novel (Jack Merchant & Sarah Ballard Novels) by Bill Eidson...

Mayday is the second installment of an acclaimed new series featuring ex-DEA Agent Jack Merchant and boat repo contractor Sarah Ballard. This time they are searching for a man's wife and children, missing on the high seas.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   310
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 25, 2005
Publisher   Justin, Charles & Co.
ISBN  1932112332  
ISBN13  9781932112337  

Availability  0 units.

More About Bill Eidson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Bill Eidsonis critically acclaimed thrillers are never too far from the sea, influenced by his growing up and living in New England. From the dive instructor in THE LITTLE BROTHER who slowly discovers his new housemate is a psychopath, to the ex-DEA agent in THE MAYDAY hired to find two children everyone else believes were lost at sea, Eidsonis fast-paced novels involve ordinary people who cross courses with the violent among us all. Eidsonis books are not only page-turners, but his characters, both the heroic and the vicious, come fully to life. His novels have been favorably reviewed in The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Herald, The Providence Journal, Entertainment Weekly and have received starred reviews in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. He has received praise from authors such as Robert B. Parker and Peter Straub, and he has been compared to Elmore Leonard. The Boston Globeis review of ONE BAD THING said, iEidson writes a tough, direct prose edged with irony, and he may well be a successor, at last, to the much-missed John D. MacDonald." Three of Eidsonis books have been optioned for movies and translated for foreign rights. A Kirkus Reviews line about THE MAYDAY sums it up for all of Eidsonis work: iHereis crime fiction the way itis supposed to be.i To learn more about Billis freelance writing and his books, go to

Bill Eidson currently resides in Arlington, in the state of Massachusetts.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Authors, A-Z > ( E ) > Eidson, Bill
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General
4Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > Series
5Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > General
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction

Reviews - What do customers think about The Mayday: A Jack Merchant and Sarah Ballard Novel (Jack Merchant & Sarah Ballard Novels)?

Oh I love you . . . but fix the slack in the storm sail honey, willya?  Jan 30, 2006
Really an exciting book and like other reviwers let me add my vote for more of Jack and Sarah. Like several current authors, sometimes the peripheral cast is more engaging than the main characters. More on that in a moment.

Matt Coulter is the "Whistling Dan Wheeler" of High and Mighty fame, traumatized and grief stricken by the loss of his wife and children on a stormy night off the coast of Rhode Island. Except he keeps having this shattered memory of a large 45 foot boat picking them up after the accident with an odd anchor plate. He believes his kids are alive.

Like Perez-Reverte, Mr. Eidson takes on a rarely used platform for a mystery, the nautical journey where ex-DEA agent Merchant and the emotionally scarred Sarah try to help Matt Coulter, off again on again believing in him and his fractured memory.

See that's the problem. The couple is so formula driven you tire of it. The former brilliant DEA agent whose career is cut short because of an error of judgment (Luther Ewing; Dave Robiceaux Joe Pike; Patrick Kenzie; Frank Corso) is in love with (the "hot but I can't commit woman" Angie Gennarro; Sunny Randall; Meg Dougherty) Sarah. So it's old stuff.

I like the excitement and it is interesting to have it all happen on the Atlantic Ocean. Mayday is very well written. But we've seen it all. Good stuff. 4 stars. I'll read Mr. Eidson again. Larry Scantlebury
fast paced crime thriller   Aug 26, 2005
After a boating accident at sea, Matt Coulter wakes up from a coma to hear that his family is dead although they didn't recover the bodies of his two children. He doesn't remember much but he believes that the kids were picked up at sea by a yacht with an unusual anchor plate. He goes to boat contractor Sarah Ballard in the hopes that she can help identify the boat which would in turn lead him to the person who took his children.

Sarah takes him to her sometimes partner ex DEA agent Jack Merchant who listens to his story and believes that the man might be clinging to false hope. Out of sympathy, he agrees to hire for a few days, never believing he will find that particular boat. Once he does, he realizes that Matt's story is true and the children could still be alive. He and Sarah work together to find the children, not realizing they are up against two dangerous sociopaths who will kill anyone who gets in their way.

Bill Eidson has written a crime thriller that is fast paced, action-packed and full of chills and thrills. This second novel in a great new series is even better than the REPO as hard as that is to believe. Jack Merchant is a tough macho man but when it comes to his feelings for Sarah he is gentle and vulnerable. This duo is a terrific crime fighting team and is one of the main reasons that this series should have a long life. Hearts will go out to the victims in this work with hopes that the criminals get their just deserts.

Harriet Klausner
Murder and Mayhem At Sea and On Land  Jul 24, 2005
In this sequel to "The Repo" written by Author Bill Eidson, the team of ex-DEA Agent Jack Merchant and boat repo contractor Sarah Ballard embark on another twisting tale. Against the background of their budding intimate relationship, Eidson weaves a tail of deception and greed that will wreak havoc on the guilty and the innocent alike.

No one really believes Matt Coulter's story and even Matt isn't sure it actually happened the way he remembers things. While the news reports of their ship going down, demasted in a fierce storm and the loss of his family believed drowned at sea tell one chain of events, he tells another. Matt, who has suffered a severe head injury and resulting memory loss as well as other physical traumas, tells a tale of another boat arriving on scene and believes that his son and daughter were taken away on that boat while he and his wife were left to die in the storm tossed sea. His wife's body was found a short time after he was rescued by Coast Guard Helicopter, but the kids were never found despite an extensive search. Matt is on a desperate search for help and for someone to believe his story.

Jack Merchant does and agrees to help with his first efforts aimed at trying to find the mystery boat based on a fragmentary description Matt remembers. His memory of a unique bow plate seems to be real and before long Merchant and Ballard are chasing leads and digging up secrets that others do not want found. The trail will lead to a violent confrontation at sea that will put their relationship to a horrendous test should they survive.

Continuing to build on the rich characters of Merchant and Ballard, Eidson has brought them to life once again in this engrossing story. Unfortunately, that can't be said for the villains of the work. While all the motivations are not clear until the end of the novel, too often, the villains seem to be stereotypes. Edison does make a laudable effort to build depth to them and make them real, but they are all still weak from start to finish.

However, the weakness of the villains is a minor quibble considering the overall strength of the story. This is a fast paced complex read that provides, despite the character development issues noted above, and incredibly satisfying intense read all the way to the end. On all other levels, the book works and works incredibly well and is an excellent sequel to "the Repo."

Kevin R. Tipple © 2005

Merchant and Ballard capture the imagination  Feb 14, 2005
Eidson's second seagoing thriller featuring ex-DEA agent Jack Merchant and his skittish lover, Sarah Ballard, owner of a boat repo business, centers on Jack's hunt for two missing children, lost at sea and presumed dead. By everyone, that is, except their father, who pleads his case to Jack, then promptly takes a header out a fourth-floor window and spends the rest of the story in a coma.

Merchant is doing some repairs on the sailboat he calls home in Boston Harbor when Matt Coulter arrives with his outlandish story. His boat foundered off the coast of Rhode Island, he says, and an apparent rescuer scooped up his two kids and left Matt and his wife for dead. He attributes the big gaps in his story to the blow to the head he took before the Coast Guard picked him up along with the body of his wife. The children were never found. Matt wants Jack to find that phantom rescue boat.

Out of pity, Jack agrees to spend a few days searching for the boat. The cops and Matt's friends think Jack is a sleaze for taking the man's money, especially after Matt's apparent suicide attempt, but initial research turns up a promising lead, and then another murder and soon Jack and Sarah are both in the sights of a ruthless sociopath.

Point of view switches from Jack and Sarah to the villains and semi-villains and, in a refreshing twist, the mastermind's pathology makes him as bungling as he is dangerous. This does not, however, make Jack's task any easier and the conclusion is a breathless, deadly, struggle on the high seas. Edgy and well-structured.
A real page-turner  Jan 6, 2005
Take this book with you on vacation. You'll blow through it in two sittings, then feel compelled to pass it along.
Mayday has action, adventure, romance, and best of all for the sailors among us, it's written by a guy who understands boats and nautical terms, which gives it more credibility.
David Liscio, Nahant, MA

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