Raging rivers threaten the Chinese mainland. Can the intrepid Mariners make a difference?
International adventurers Robin and Richard Mariner are on the Poseidon, a warship they've converted for sailing, when a massive earthquake rocks central China. Though the damage to the Poseidon is considerable, the first thought of each Mariner, on different parts of the ship at the time of the quake, is the safety of the other. Only then do their thoughts turn outward. The Mariners' new launch, the Marilyn, has been set adrift by the quake with a crew of eight aboard. In addition, Captain Mei-Feng, who helms the Poseidon, worries about the fate of her mother, Architect Chang, recently sent to inspect the Three Gorges Dam, which was likely destroyed in the quake. Complicating the Chang family dynamic even more is the rivalry between Mei-Feng's Invisible Power organization and the Green Gang, to which her river-pilot father belongs. For all these reasons, and more humanitarian considerations as well, the Mariners head not to the safety of the coast but into the heart of the country, where the casualties are enormous. Besides confronting the aftermath of the natural disaster, Richard and Robin must also face off with the volatile Daniel Huuk, the leader of Invisible Power, and deal with Mei-Feng's roller-coaster emotions.
As in his 22 previous Mariner thrillers (The Prison Ship, 2010, etc.), Tonkin offers a wealth of information on both Asian culture and seafaring in concise, muscular prose, and several cliffhangers, leavened by the breezy chemistry of Robin and Richard.