After reading Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot”, I’m back in more familiar waters with “Riptide” a high tech thriller.
A seventeenth century pirate,the ruthless Red Ned Eaton, had been very successful plundering the Spanish treasure ships,as a result his ships were too heavily laden with booty and he wanted somewhere to hide his treasure. He kidnaps one of the top architects of the day, a specialist in ecclesiastical architecture, to design for him an impenetrable vault, a secret place to store his hoard, with devious traps for which he alone would have a key. The architect designs a “Water Pit”, and the pirate’s crew build it on an island off the Maine Coast, this is no ordinary pit for storing treasure, the pit is filled with ingenious traps worthy of an Egyptian Pyramid…the key to the pit is in a fiendishly difficult cryptic message, which will allow only Red Ned to recover his treasure, but he dies before he can return to Ragged Island.
After several unsuccessful attempts to retrieve the treasure over the centuries, resulting in many deaths and bankruptcies, a heavily backed high tech team led by the obsessed Captain Niedelman, prepare to find the pirate’s hoard estimated to be worth $2 billion. The team has specialists in geology, cryptography, archaeology, and lack nothing in equipment…surely they can defeat the seventeenth century traps. One of the team, Dr Malin Hatch whose brother died looking for the treasure, isn’t so sure.
This book is a real page turner, if you like writers like Michael Crichton or Peter Benchley you’ll probably enjoy this. I did. The captain is as obsessed by the treasure as Captain Ahab is by the white whale in Moby Dick. The main protagonist Dr Malin Hatch is the typical mid thirties hero of these kind of books, clever, fit and with access to most of the information. It is a book with a lot of action and a smattering of psychology. A boy’s adventure for adults.
My rating: 5 out of 5