cover image A Deadly Silver Sea

A Deadly Silver Sea

Bob Morris, . . St. Martin's Minotaur, $24.95 (355pp) ISBN 978-0-312-37725-0

A luxury cruise runs afoul of a terrorist plot in the less than stellar fourth entry in Morris's Edgar-nominated series featuring jack-of-all-trades Zack Chasteen (after Bermuda Schwartz ). Chasteen, a former pro football player and ex-con who now runs a Florida palm tree nursery, and his eight-month pregnant significant other, travel magazine owner Barbara Pickering, are among the high-class crowd aboard the Royal Star , making its inaugural voyage to an unknown destination. Soon after the ship leaves Miami, gunmen mow down most of the crew, then separate the men and the women. Chasteen rallies his colleagues to fight back, but ends up overboard, where he draws on his Boy Scout training to survive. Morris ratchets up the tension by having Barbara go into labor amid the gunfire and explosions. Hollywood films like Speed 2 have effectively used analogous story lines, but Morris fails to replicate their tension and pacing. (Dec.)