Two Good Reads for the Beach

By: Garrett M. Graff

Vacations are supposed to be what hard-working Washingtonians take to kick back, but Washington Times political columnist John McCaslin found his latest professional project beachside. Weed Man: The Remarkable Journey of Jimmy Divine got its start when McCaslin was staying at his Bahamas vacation house and discovered that a neighbor, Jimmy Moree, had spent 11 years as one of the Caribbean’s biggest drug smugglers.

Harbour Island—a quarter-mile wide and home to about 1,500 people—is famous for its pink-sand beaches and has for years been the vacation spot of choice for McCaslin and his brother, who own a small, 200-year-old Colonial house there. About two years ago, McCaslin struck up a conversation with the island’s baker/minister/real-estate agent, who introduced him to Moree, a.k.a. Jimmy Divine.

The stories McCaslin heard from Divine sounded too good to be true—his seat at Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding, the time he tried to poison a neighbor with a deadly barracuda, his drug-smuggling exploits across the Caribbean and Latin America, his generosity toward the poor farmers and fishermen in his hometown on the Bahamas’ Long Island, and his run-ins with the Drug Enforcement Administration. It’s good beach reading.

Thriller writer David Ignatius also has a new novel, The Increment, which focuses on the Iranian nuclear threat. Ignatius—a Washington Post columnist and a longtime observer of the intelligence community—writes novels that are considered to be among the best representations of how the secret world really operates.

This article first appeared in the June 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.   

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