There’s nary a dull moment in this complex, relentlessly plotted, if bloated, maritime potboiler sure to keep readers alert.



An energetic tale explores murder, revenge, and corporate deceit playing out on the high seas.

Silva’s (New York Scramble, 2015, etc.) seafaring novel follows the son of a murdered man who is bent on avenging his death. During a sailing trip around the Channel Islands, Hank Serling and his attractive mate, Susann Carmody, encounter a struggling swimmer awash in the ocean. They rescue the waterlogged man only to be viciously harassed by aggressive Navy SEAL petty officer Glen Maddox, who’d been administering an ocean swim test to assess his cadets’ physical endurance. Later, Hank learns of his father Matthew’s death in his Wall Street brokerage firm’s office, finding the police explanation of suicide and that his dad was nearly penniless difficult to believe. Hank is left with controlling interest in his father’s million-dollar, 53-foot racing sailboat, Vendetta, which is currently operated by a shifty group of mariners. After police suddenly deem Matthew’s death a homicide, Hank springs into action to solve his father’s murder, reclaim the sailboat (by any means necessary), and exact justice on the killers. But his intentions cause more problems than they solve. Hank absconds with the boat, and police put a reward out for its recovery, which tempts short-tempered, recently terminated Maddox with both the idea of money and revenge on the man who indirectly caused his military career to end. Subplots branch off the main attraction and include a co-conspiratorial plan to cash in on politically charged Panamanian land, machinations by murderous embezzler Wilbur Gammon, a falsified bankruptcy scheme, and a group of nefarious bandits who try to kidnap Hank. In this suspenseful, dramatic work, Hank remains a formidable protagonist: tough, resilient, eager to right Gammon’s wrongdoing against his beloved father, and a man who knows his way around both a new Caribbean love interest, Tara, and a sailboat (“The feel of sailing a boat at night began to work its magic. He experienced a strange confidence, having done all he could for the boat. Hank…kept his mind on just the vital elements—the rig, the wind, the sea”). Silva’s assertive prose more than makes up for some rickety coincidences, an overblown storyline, and a drawn-out sequence on Isla de la Boca pitting Hank against a gun-toting Maddox and a freak hurricane.

There’s nary a dull moment in this complex, relentlessly plotted, if bloated, maritime potboiler sure to keep readers alert.

Pub Date: June 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5238-1902-7

Page Count: 372

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

Did you like this book?