A romantic High Seas getaway turns into a deadly adventure.
Shipping magnate Richard Mariner has kept all the details of their exotic vacation from his wife and partner Robin. She’s pleased to see the gregarious Texas billionaire Nic Greenbaum in their party, but not aloof Inge Nordberg, who appears to be his companion. Robin secretly nicknames the Amazonian beauty the “Ice Queen.” As they climb aboard Tai Fun, “the most beautiful vessel that Robin had ever seen,” Inge bluntly reveals Richard’s secret to Robin: he plans to buy Tai Fun and its sister vessels, known collectively as The High Wind fleet. Introductions to a handful of other voyagers—beautiful new entertainment officer Gabriella, brisk lieutenant Eva Gruber and Inge’s crusty father Nils—temporarily table Robin’s consideration of Richard’s plan. But the dream hits rough waters with the revelation that eco-warrior Nic plans to enter a competing bid on the fleet. Still, Robin looks forward to the trip for its own sake. After some idyllic ports of call, the party plans a final stop on the remote island paradise of Pulau Baya. But when they arrive, they find Prince Sailendra and his skittish people devastated by deadly, inexplicable tremors. Can Mariner and company discover the source?
In his 18th Mariner caper (The Ship Breakers, 2007, etc.), Tonkin handles the many action scenes and the nuanced relationship of Robin and Richard with equal ease.