THUNDER BAY

Peter Tonkin, Author
Peter Tonkin, Author . Severn $25.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-5684-5
Hardcover - 448 pages - 978-0-7278-7111-4
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A welcome aura of old-fashioned expertise surrounds Tonkin's latest seagoing thriller, which resembles a mixture of Ian Fleming and Hammond Innes. This solid background is especially handy when Tonkin's preference for canned corn—"Richard Mariner had been bred and built for moments like these" and "She shared her husband's capacity for indefatigable action"—occasionally threatens to rock the boat. But for most readers the seasickness will quickly pass, and Tonkin will return to the gripping, beautifully described scene of action aboard everything from a fur-laden Ojibwa canoe, to a smelly Russian freighter or a sleek SuperCat designed to whiz hundreds of passengers across the Great Lakes. Nautical entrepreneurs (parents of 10-year-old twin sons happily away at school in England) Richard and Robin Mariner, stars of such previous Tonkin outings as The Fire Ship and The Coffin Ship, are hoping to launch their Heritage Mariner line of SuperCats, but matters like the frozen, mutilated body of a woman tossed off that Russian freighter (one of the most evil floating objects in fiction since the creations of Jack London or B. Traven) and a kidnapped female Mountie keep getting in their way. The Mariners' many seafaring and investigative skills are seriously tested during the exciting chase. Readers who batten down the hatches and keep the Dramamine handy should enjoy the rough but rewarding ride. (June)

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