A brisk debut thriller about modern-day pirates and a hijacking at sea.
The US Navy destroyer Cushing is on its way home carrying “tigers.” That’s Navy slang for dependents of the ship’s company—in this case, a dozen or so wives, parents, and offspring, including (fortuitously as it turns out) a gung-ho female VMI cadet and a pair of retired but still handy sailors. They've flown out to join the Cushing as it completes the last leg of its Persian Gulf mission—a pleasant reunion it would have been, too, if villainous Michael Prasetyo had been less ambitious. An American-educated Indonesian, Prasetyo is a credit to the Skull and Crossbones: daring, opportunistic, ruthless, and egomaniacal. In order to cap an already illustrious career of buccaneering in the Straits of Malacca, he decides to steal the Cushing. Such a feat is the stuff from which legends are made—and fortunes, too, from the sale of the destroyer’s armaments. The Cushing‘s Captain Andrew Warner knows he’s more ambivalent than he should be about the homeward cruise, and he suspects that wife Laura, also on board, shares his anxiety. Andrew is about to retire, and neither he nor Laura is at all certain he’ll be comfortable in dry-dock. Suddenly, though, there’s no time for introspection: under cover of a violent storm, Prasetyo strikes and sends his marauders all over a ship made particularly vulnerable by its freight of potential hostages. These tigers, however, prove to be a special breed; Prasetyo learns the hard way that they can claw and bite as the Cushing fights for survival
Stutters a bit getting started, but gathers momentum soon enough. Retired naval officer Morgan has the background to make it authoritative and the skill to keep it lively.