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When asked which character represents the author most, he said, “Decan has a lot of me in him.” Whit and Decan got together with the last bottle of stout red wine they had bought from Benavarri. The two ol’ Crackers stood up together. Decan said, “Well, my brother Whit, the trillionaires have run all the billionaires off the island, and in the future only trillionaires will live here, and that boils it down to you and me.” The author has traveled to many parts of the world. These foreign places are represented well throughout the novel. I asked him why he chose to live in Boca Grande for half the year. He responded in true satirical fashion, “Why else but gold? I am a native Floridian, and my first trip to Boca Grande was in 1950 ... WOW…what an expensive decision to move here – that damn bridge toll is $500 bucks.” When asked what inspired this novel in the first place, Edd replied, “I wrote it because when my grandson, Whit Field, comes to my home he always wants to treasure hunt.” Edd truly wrote this story in his own voice, free of concern about what friends and family would think about it. He continued, “Hell, nobody will read the damn thing anyway.” The author does a masterful job of creating believable settings and painting an interesting future for Gaspar Island (Boca Grande) throughout. I found myself rooting for Whit and Decan in their quest to secretly move inordinate amounts of gold and recreate their island in their image. All of those ol’ Gaspar descendants have incredible genes, are super-rich and own the biggest part of Gaspar Island and the huge DuTont Company. “Damn!” said Whit,” I just hope they lost track of the gold that was buried on Gaspar Island.” Decan said, “They probably did. There was so much, no one could possibly keep up with it!” One of the two men drove out of Barcelona, and the farther from Barcelona they went, the more beautiful the scenery became as the Pyrenees loomed ahead of them. They wound and swayed around switchback roads, slowly climbing higher in the mountains that nestled herds of goats, sheep, cattle, deer, and vineyards that appeared near sparsely populated villages. Edd Dean completes his work with a comment section entitled, THE TRUTH. This section is “must” reading for anyone interested in Edd Dean’s very interesting life. He ends with two black-and-white pictures of “The Real Jackal” on the last two pages. Edd proudly explained. “That’s the real Jackal. I took those pictures in 1964 in Santiago, Dominican Republic when I was 23.” If you don’t know who the real Jackal is, Edd will show you the 52-year-old photograph at his house. When asked what life lessons he took away from writing this novel, Edd replied, “None really.” He does currently have another project in the works. “I learned my lesson with this book – I can buy a book cheaper than writing one.” The Secret Fortune was published in 2015 and is currently available at Boca Grande Real Estate, near the island post office. You can also purchase a copy directly from the author by emailing him at bocabeandean@gmail.com or call (941) 964-0693. He sells it to friends, neighbors, and family for $40, but everyone else has to pay $20, with one undisclosed exception… Jonathan Herbert is an award-winning writer who grew up in Englewood. His novels, Banyan Street and Silver King, have won multiple literary awards, including recognition from the Paris BookFestival. You can follow him on Twitter @herbertnovels or on the web at herbertnovels.com. 67 GASPARILLA MAGAZINE JULY/AUGUST 2016 A Book Review By Jonathan Herbert THE SECRET FORTUNE


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