Synopses & Reviews
In Shell Games
, journalist Craig Welch delves into our nation's waters and wildlands in search of America's most unusual criminals. The resulting detective story is filled with butterfly thieves, bear poachers, shark-trafficking pastors—and a rogues' gallery of double-crossing crooks who get rich smuggling bizarre marine creatures.
Puget Sound is home to the geoduck (pronounced "gooey duck"), the world's largest burrowing clam—a seafood delicacy worth millions on the international black market. Outlaw scuba divers pursue this prize while dodging cops, committing arson, and hiring hit men to eliminate their rivals.Detective Ed Volz has spent decades chasing fish and wildlife smugglers. Now, he and a team of federal agents are desperate to take down the most remarkable thief they've ever hunted: a darkly charming con man who works both sides of the law and calls himself the "Geoduck Gotti."
“[A]n engrossing tale of both human excesses and the attempts of a few brave souls to curb them. Everyone, not just the denizens of Puget Sound, has a stake in this battles outcome.” < i=""> Washington Post <>
“Riveting...Ed Volz and Doug Tobin are perfect antagonists.” Wall Street Journal
“Welch brings us into the underworld of shellfish smuggling from multiple angles...Shell Games is an eye-opener, exposing a murky world operating just below the surface.” Oregonian
“Endlessly fascinating.” Seattle Times
“With hit men, snitches, and midnight smuggling runs, this book has all the adventure of a Miami Vice episode. That it reads like a detective novel - with the quarry being millions of dollars of freakishly large clams - is testament to the formidable writing and reporting talents of Craig Welch.” Mark Obmascik, author of The Big Year and 2009 National Outdoor Book Award winner for Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled - and Knuckleheaded - Quest for the Rocky Mountain High
A unique blend of natural history and crime drama, Shell Games by Craig Welch is a riveting tale of rogues, scoundrels, and the hunt for nature s bounty in the tradition of The Orchid Thief. A stranger-than-fiction true story centered around a larger-than-life character who pursued a larger-than-life clam the Geoduck and then led wildlife police on a two-year-long chase, Shell Games is enthralling and remarkable from page one on."
A unique blend of natural history and crime drama, Shell Games by Craig Welch is a riveting tale of rogues, scoundrels, and the hunt for natures bounty in the tradition of The Orchid Thief. A stranger-than-fiction true story centered around a larger-than-life character who pursued a larger-than-life clam—the Geoduck—and then led wildlife police on a two-year-long chase, Shell Games is enthralling and remarkable from page one on.
About the Author
Craig Welch is the chief environmental writer for the Seattle Times. His work has been published in Smithsonianmagazine, the Washington Postand Newsweek. He has won dozens of local, regional and national journalism awards, and has been named the national Society of Environmental Journalists's Outstanding Beat Reporter of the Year. In 2007, he completed a fellowship at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.