THE SHIPKILLER by Justin Scott


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Peter Hardin and his wife Carolyn are happily sailing their small boat when the world's largest supertanker Leviathan sails out of a blind fog and splinters them, killing her, then sails on unaware of the accident. Four days later Peter is washed ashore on the English coast in his lifejacket. A beautiful Nigerian lady doctor restores him to health. He is an inventor of new medical equipment and independently wealthy. When the law fails, he is fired to vengeance against Leviathan, buys a big new yacht sturdy as a bayonet, arms it with a rocket launcher, and sets out to destroy the monster on his own. The lady doctor, who is going home to Africa, asks to sail with him. Love blossoms, and she decides to aid him and thus exorcise the ghost of his wife. Meanwhile, his plan becomes known to various Eastern secret services, and the Israelis are eager to help: spillage from the tanker would undo the oil sheiks. Peter is obsessed, fighting through a storm at sea to reach the bulge of Africa at the time the Leviathan will pass by and become a perfect target. But he fails (!) and is capsized by the behemoth. Again he outfits his yacht and sets forth. This time his ship is shot from beneath him, but he perseveres in a dinghy. Still he fails! Seven months later he's back once more, this time in the lady doctor's trimaran, and the book's title is finally justified. Busy, fast, and restrained with a kind of semi-believability, more so than other recent sink-the-supertanker novels.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1978
Publisher: Dial