While this is a dated, but very enjoyable thriller along the Clive Cussler sea-adventure line, it's far more as well. The characters are much more developed and interesting than Cussler's and the plot is a worthy one, involving modern-day piracy, terrorism, and Islam.
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.