Davis' Hong Kong novel The Years of the Hungry Tiger (1975) read as if shouted by Richard Burton while on the sauce. His antiwhaling Leviathan also has its excessive moments and the Big Message is loudly belted. Justin Magnus, an expert on undersea ecology who writes Cousteau-type books and has a TV series on marine life, inherits a mass of technical gadgetry from his dead father. He sets out to sink some Japanese and Russian whale-processing factory ships and bring a halt to the world's whaling industry. Davis's physical descriptions of whaling come across. But building on the reader's pity for beasts, he gooses us into a From Russia with Love adventure-melodrama that is at once superexcitedly silly and gripping. He is a bravura talent and, as with Burton, we keep waiting for the real performance buried under the catch-in-the-throat heartbreak.