The Black Sea Paperback – Oct 1994
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From Library Journal
It's not safe to go anywhere these days. Consider the plight of Dr. Maggi Chancellor, an Asian studies specialist enlisted as a guest lecturer aboard a Soviet luxury liner with an international passenger list. Hardly has the ship steamed into the Strait of Singapore when it is hijacked by pirates led by a messianic leader. While the great world powers search in vain for the missing vessel, the captain and crew of a lone American warship devise ingenious rescue strategies, and Maggi struggles to intercede between captors and captives. Setlowe is a fluent and accomplished tale-spinner, unafraid to include some charmless types among his characters. The action is fast-moving, the setting exotic, and the background painlessly instructive. An intriguing glimpse into an environment not yet picked over by thriller writers, The Black Sea is a sure-fire winner for popular fiction shelves.
- Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Computer Support Svces., Ridgecrest, Cal.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
Malayan terrorists seize and hide a Soviet cruise ship and its cargo of rich Americans, among whom is the former secretary of state, in an ingenious thriller by the author of The Experiment (1980) and The Haunting of Suzanna Blackwell (1984). Arms for hostages is the deal proposed by Tengku Haji Azhar, the handsome, charismatic Malayan who--thanks to the encouragement of his smarter but uglier cousin and co-plotter--believes he is just the man to lead a Muslim political renaissance in southern Asia and Oceania. The cousins have recruited a gang of Malaccan pirates and, with very little trouble, seized The Black Sea, a posh new Russian liner, then hidden the ship in an uncharted jungle river just a day after its departure from Singapore. Tengku gets the attention of the Singaporean, American, and Soviet governments with the delivery of a recently detached head of a crew member and a shopping list of weapons the terrorists would like to have delivered in return for not detaching more. With a fresh Soviet or American head arriving every day in Singapore, the three governments feel a bit of pressure to do something. Working for the Americans are the very capable captain and crew of the U.S.S. Decatur, a frigate operating in the area, and Mr. Yee, a very cool and rather mysterious aide to the president of Singapore. Time is working against them--as are the hungry local crocodiles and the rising hysteria of the passengers. Fortunately for everybody, one of the ship's tour guides is Maggi Chancellor, a pretty American who speaks the terrorists' language and who has caught the eye of Tengku. Ms. Chancellor has no intention of spending her life in the jungle.... Great fun. Fresh gimmicks and scenery skillfully assembled in a very slick package. Never palls. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
What's even more significant is Setlowe's manner of educating the reader about that vaguely-known geographic area, most of us only have hazy ideas about politically, geographically, and culturally.
And it's significant to be reminded that this area houses the world's largest Muslim population, that it is still schismatic between Malays, Chinese, Singaporeans, and other nationalities, that the world's busiest trade port is the independent nation of Singapore. Setlowe teaches you the long involved history of the area, its curious scattering of small islands, and the motivations of its modern-day inhabitants.
But lest you think this will be a dull learning experience, it's not. It's backstory to a fascinating adventure yarn that could happen any day of the week and for the exact reasons Setlowe lays out. ead it for the yarn, read it for the background information, but read it and get your POV about Malayasia readjusted to its startling potential and realities.
Technical maritime detail is good, as are character and story development, although much time is spent developing the Executive Officer Robinson's back story without much payoff at the end. Perhaps Setlowe is setting-up the Robinson character for future novels. His Captain Stewart has legs - as does Maggi Chamberlain. Expect to see them again in the next edition. Good, quick Summer Navy-action read. I enjoyed it.
Most recent customer reviews
I really discovered a gem. It could have been a simple case of piracy, but things in the real world are rarely that simple. Mr. Read morePublished on July 13 2002 by A Customer
It think this is a great book. Setlowe covers US Naval tactics, south-east Asian history and culture, and modern politics. Read morePublished on March 1 2001 by Frank Moore