Pirate Latitudes: A Novel

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Pirate Latitudes  A Novel

Michael Crichton

Crichton, who died in 2008, was known primarily for such high-tech thrillers as Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain. This new novel, found in manuscript form among his papers, will come as a bit of a surprise to many of his fans. It is, of all things, a pirate novel. Set in 1665, it tells the story of Captain Charles Hunter, a privateer who’s hired by the governor of Jamaica’s Port Royal to steal a Spanish galleon and its cargo of gold treasure. Don’t expect to see Jack Sparrow in this story of pirates of the Caribbean, though: Crichton doesn’t play his pirates for laughs. And this is no typical pirate adventure, either: it’s actually a caper novel posing as a high-seas adventure. All the key caper-novel elements are here: the target, the mastermind, the plan, the motley crew, the ruthless villain, the gadgets, the twist, and the turncoat. Crichton keeps us in a constant state of suspense, never revealing quite what his hero, Captain Hunter, has up his sleeve, and the novel ends most unexpectedly. Pirate fans will love the book for its flashy characters and historical authenticity. Crime fans will enjoy the caper-novel structure and the way the author keeps them on their toes. If this really is Crichton’s final book, it’s a splendid send-off: something new, different, and daring.

320 pages
(November 24, 2009)
Language: English

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