"Aye, shiver me timbers, matey!" The late Michael Crichton's estate found this finished manuscript in his files after his death. When is the last time a good pirate book was published?
This story has all the essentials: A flawed hero: Captain Charles Hunter; his sleek sloop, the Cassandra; his crew of 60 lost souls; not one, but three fair maidens; the corrupt governor of Port Royal, Jamaica; a more corrupt assistant; the Spanish villain, Cazalla, the captain of the warship El Trinidad; stolen treasure beyond imagination; a sea monster that defies sensibility; a helmsman who is a true artist; a tongueless Moor assassin; a French pirate who is not what he appears; blazing cannons; swashbuckling swords; menacing muskets; barrels of rum called kill-devil; the development of what is known today as grenades; remote island paradises inhabited by cannibals; sea-battling-sinking-ships; wooden-legged spies; a treasure map of sorts; bawdy wenches; and plenty of action and sex. The only thing missing from this book is a parrot.
Parrot be damned! This story hooked me from the title page. It has been a while since I read Crichton. I forgot how visual his books can be. Hollywood will undoubtedly purchase the rights and cast a spirited crew of actors. Until then, reading this book will have to fulfill all those dormant piratical needs.