THE FIRE SHIP by Peter Tonkin


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Middle Eastern terrorists make it necessary for shipping magnates Richard and Robin Mariner, who last sailed in The Coffin Ship (1991), to break off their vacation and go to war. The fiends have seized the Mariners' flagship and Robin's father. Rich people do have the most interesting vacations. Sunning themselves in the Seychelles, Mr. and Mrs. Mariner chance to see the highest-tech sailboat afloat and casually sign themselves on as crew. The boat belongs to its inventor--a brilliant, brain-damaged, Aussie Vietnam vet--and his black American best friend, both of whom are happy to find that the Mariners are, beyond being stellar sailors, filthy rich and most interested in the boat's futuristic features. Answering an SOS in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the four sailors find an abandoned, weapon-laden freighter and a lifeboat with a murdered crew. Sailing for Arabia with their news, the Mariners hear on the radio that terrorists have hijacked the Mariners' best new tanker and kidnapped Robin's father. As soon as they reach Bahrain, Robin and Richard call on the resources of their shipping company and all their most valiant chums to retrieve Dad and the ship. None of the world's intelligence agencies has any idea where the terrorists have taken their prizes--but none of the world's intelligence agencies has the money or connections of the Mariners, who are quickly on the trail. Everything's terribly risky, mind you. It is the Middle East, after all. But a visit to a blind mystic begins to clear things up, and the Mariners realize that the kidnapping, the hijacking, and the mysteriously abandoned ship are all related. Everybody joins the couple, who plan their own private, commando operation to get things set right. Brisk, dashing, pleasantly brainless British adventure. Action always prevails over politics. As it should.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1992
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Crown