It's a long time since The Wreck of the Mary Deare, and bain't the easiest thing in the world to read Hammond Innes in this much heavier set new novel unless you're on solid terms with winches and shackles and drawworks. On the one hand this is the story cf Michael Randall who collaborates with the widowed Gertrude to get her husband's wrecked trawler back together again and out into the North Sea where oil will be struck. But a good half of the story is dogged, as is Michael, by his past -- by a father with Russian leanings, who's supposed to be dead; by a wife of greater sexual attractiveness than the sturdy Gertrude who had been in and out of one extremist political group after another; and by the attempt to nail him on an earlier charge -- of throwing a petrol bomb which had almost taken the life of the child he had actually salvaged. And of course the elements in all their magnitude -- climaxed by a helluva storm. But there is an audience that stands by, or is it pat?