cover image Hatteras Blue

Hatteras Blue

D. C. Poyer / Author, David Poyer / Author St. Martin's Press

The background of this thriller is more compelling than the story itself. Set in and off Cape Hatteras, the novel opens with the sinking of a German U-boat in the waning days of WW II. Then it jumps to the present, where we meet Tiller Galloway, a heavy-drinking, down-and-out salvage diver. Though he's a Vietnam veteran from a distinguished naval family, Galloway is now out on parole for drug smuggling, monitored by attractive woman parole officer Bernie Hirsch. Early on, Galloway is approached by Richard Keyes, a mysterious man who wants to find the sunken U-boat because he thinks it holds a cargo of gold the Nazis were hauling to South America. As the captain of a boat owned by his cousin, Galloway is again lured by the big kill. Hirsch doesn't trust Keyes (or Galloway's ability to stay out of trouble) so she tails along on the salvaging mission. The author's obvious love for the world of deep-sea diving is passionately conveyed. But Poyer ( The Med ) reveals too much information too soon in large blocky chunks. And though there's a switch at the end, the choppy plotting defuses much of the tension, leaving the best parts of the book underwater, floating like air bubbles. (June)