Greed and green technology intersect with combustible results in a deadly maritime race.
Disgusted by public indifference to the rampant pollution of the world's waterways, industrialist/adventurer Richard Mariner teams up with ecologist and magnate Nic Greenbaum for a brilliant publicity stunt. They invite seamen worldwide to compete in the hunt for a certain plastic bottle dropped into a Tokyo river. Inside the bottle are dozens of lottery tickets, one of which just might be a multimillion-dollar winner. Adding a dash of public relations panache are Richard's wife and fellow adventurer, Robin, and Greenbaum's daughter Liberty, a scholastic prodigy and accomplished sailor, in a kind of side bet. They'll race against each other, Liberty helming the Flint and Robin the Katapult, to the bottle, which moves from its original urban locality to the open seas, where most of the public is ignorant of spreading toxicity. Taking the bait, the media begin filming several crews that have avidly accepted the challenge. But the sublime plan of Greenbaum International and Heritage Mariner goes seriously awry with the discovery that the targeted bottle does indeed contain a winning ticket worth $110 million. The friendly competition instantly turns deadly, endangering both the reputations of the planners and countless lives, including those of their loved ones.
Mariner's 26th escapade (Dark Heart, 2012, etc.), written with crisp authority, abounds in Tonkin's trademark nautical action sequences. And the premise is his freshest and most viscerally appealing in years.