Monday, April 18, 2011

The Coffin Ship by Peter Tonkin

For our next book review in the Oceans 11 reading challenge, here's a few words from library patron & friend of abcreads Susan:

My 3rd book for the Oceans ’11 Reading Challenge is The Coffin Ship by Peter Tonkin, the first book in the Richard Mariner high-seas thriller series. A rollicking adventure that never lets up - plan to stay up late to finish!

Oxford English Dictionary definition of a coffin ship: A ship sent to sea in an unseaworthy condition, destined to sink before the end of its voyage as part of an insurance fraud. (first used 1833)

Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) Prometheus is the largest supertanker in the seas, laden with oil and set to begin a voyage through the Gulf, south through the Indian Ocean, around the southernmost tip of Africa, north through the Atlantic, to the English Channel. Greedy and unscrupulous supertanker owner Kostas Demetrios, and several crew members in his pay, know the ship will never make it. The first "accident" (effect of sabotage) occurs before the ship departs, and kills several crew members. Demetrios is forced to hire additional crew members. Crewfinders, a business founded by Richard Mariner, supplies qualified crew members to ship owners at short notice. Richard can fill all but captain for Prometheus from his contacts, and he agrees to captain the Prometheus himself. Fully qualified as a captain, he had retired from seafaring after an onboard explosion that killed his wife.

The owner of the cargo arrives to challenge Richard and insist upon becoming 3rd mate. While qualified for the position, the new third mate opens up painful memories from Richard's past.

Once underway, the voyage constantly faces challenges, from additional sabotage efforts to violent weather hazards. Tremendous bravery and teamwork is required for survival. And always present is the question of what dangers are still set in place to destroy the voyage.

Action scenes predominate; this would be an exciting movie. I look forward to many more thrilling escapes - reading Richard Mariner's exploits.

No comments: