The Forgotten by David Baldacci

Description : The Forgotten
He had the look of a man who was afraid that tonight would be his last on earth. And he had good reason to think so. The odds were fifty-fifty that it might be, and the percentage could go higher depending on how the next hour turned out.

The margin of error was that small.

The roar of the twin-engine boat moving at near full throttle wiped away the nighttime quiet on calm ocean waters. At this time of year the Gulf of Mexico was usually not so peaceful. This was typically the most active period of the hurricane season. While several storms were brewing out in the open Atlantic, none as yet had formed a firm center and entered the Gulf. Everyone on the coast was crossing his fingers and praying it would remain that way.

The fiberglass hull cut cleanly through the dense, salty water. The boat could hold about twenty peoplefortably, but there were thirty folks on board. They were desperately gripping anything they could to keep from being bounced overboard. Despite the smooth waters, a boat carrying far too many people and moving at high speed was never very stable.

The captain piloting the boat did not care about thefort of his passengers. His top priority was staying alive. He kept one hand on the wheel and the other on the dual throttles. He eyed the speed gauge with a worried look.

Come on. Come on. You can do this. You can make it.

Forty miles per hour. He pushed the throttles ahead and crept the speed stick up to forty-five. He was almost topped out now. Even with the twin stem-drive engines he wouldn’t be able to muster more speed without unduly depleting his fuel. And there were no marinas around here to provide more gas.

Even with the breeze created by the boat’s movement it was still hot out here. At least one did not have to worry about mosquitoes, not at this speed and...
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