RIPTIDE by Douglas Preston

RIPTIDE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Thrilling adventure of dredging for pirate treasure on an island off the Maine coast, by the authors of the best-selling Relic (1995) and Reliquary (1997). Several centuries back, the English pirate Edward Ockham buried what is now $2 billion worth of treasure on Ragged Island. Sometime later, a cod-fishing boat was shipwrecked there, and a strange depression in the island strongly suggested that something lay underneath. Indeed, buried bulwarks point to human handiwork, and at last a Water Pit is discovered, with underground passageways leading to it that protect the treasure from recovery. Over the centuries, various dredging companies are formed and financed to suck out the Water Pit. But the Pit must have been designed by a genius: It includes several protective tunnels under sea-level that collapse when engineers attempt to keep them open. Nearly a dozen companies go bust. Today, the Hatch family owns Ragged Island, though the father won—t allow his sons to visit the place. Still, one son is killed below, and only 30 years later does a new high-tech Hatch dredging operation get started, using the strongest titanium to shore up the very deeply buried Water Pit. When the Pit is finally drained enough to allow villainous Captain Neidelman to get to the buried treasure first, he discovers himself possessed by the fabulously jewel-encrusted but radioactive Sword of St. Michael, by which the archangel defeated Satan during war in heaven. The folding of such fantasy material into a generally realistic novel hurts not a whit. A tremendous storm at sea with staggeringly high waves will have you jumping up for a lifesaver. Unstoppable suspense and mystery.

Pub Date: July 2nd, 1998
ISBN: 0-446-52336-4
Page count: 432pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1998




Kirkus Interview
Douglas Preston
January 2, 2017

Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God—but then committed suicide without revealing its location. Three quarters of a century later, bestseller Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization. The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story is his account of the expedition. “A story that moves from thrilling to sobering, fascinating to downright scary—trademark Preston, in other words, and another winner,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >

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