One of Innes' livelier recent adventures--with a meandering plot, an excess of chat, but lots of varied nautical action. The...

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THE BLACK TIDE

One of Innes' livelier recent adventures--with a meandering plot, an excess of chat, but lots of varied nautical action. The narrator-hero is former seaman and would-be writer Trevor Rodin, who's living on the Cornwall coast. . .until beloved wife Karen, fed up with government inertia over oil spills, reacts violently to the latest one: she rows out to the wrecked tanker Petros Jupiter to set fire to the spill, blowing the ship and herself to smithereens. So Trevor is intent on revenge--especially since he's convinced that the tanker's engineer, a shady sort with many aliases, deliberately put the ship on the rocks. And the search for this engineer, with Trevor aided by a ship-insurance firm, leads from France to Dubai, where Trevor signs on as second mate with a mysterious tanker. Is his engineer nemesis aboard? Yes indeed. But this villain turns out to be a pathetic Welshman named Price, and the tanker turns out to be a hijacked British ship--so Trevor and Price wind up fleeing from the enigmatic, lethal hijackers in a dhow; they're shipwrecked in the Arabian Sea, Price dying, Trevor rescued ashore in Pakistan, suspected of Price's murder. Now, however, Trevor has a new mission: he's convinced that the hijacked tanker, in tandem with another missing ship, is headed for some terrorist/oil-spill activity in Europe! Thus, it's back to England--trying to convince the powers-that-be, trying to figure out where the terrorist-ships will be having their rendezvous; a clue leads Trevor (with those insurance-firm pals) to sail for the Selvagen Islands by yacht. And finally, with proof that tanker-terrorism is indeed afoot (but with no idea of where it will occur), Trevor joins up with the authorities to try to prevent a massive oil-spill somewhere on the English coast. (The ""terrorist"" is actually an anti-pollution fanatic determined to dramatize his cause.) Moderately nonsensical stuff--with Trevor's motivation iffy at best--but the authentic, far-flung array of vessels and crises at sea will rivet many a landlubber; and the technically oriented will appreciate the data on tankers, oil, insurance, and pollution.

Pub Date: Jan. 14, 1982

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1982

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