Grave Descend by Michael Crichton

Grave Descend book cover
Rating 6.0/10
A page-turner that mixes historical events well with the plot.

Diver James McGregor is used to exploring sunken ships. But there's something strange about the wreck of the Grave Descend. No one aboard tells quite the same story about what happened. Then there's the mysterious cargo they were carrying… In one of the most beautiful places on Earth, a sinister plot is about to unfold. And if McGregor's not careful, he may find himself in over his head.

What I have now come to expect from this kind of novel is that the location will always be exotic and the women will always be beautiful and fairly untrustworthy. The Grave Descend is set in Jamaica, originally written in 1970, and the basic plot is of an innocent man caught up in schemes beyond his control. Unlike the lead character in Zero Cool, James McGregor has friends on the island he calls home and knows how to get out of a tight scrape even if he has walked knowingly into a trap.

McGregor is a diver who helps salvage wrecked yachts and he is asked to help find and salvage The Grave Descend by an insurance broker Arthur Wayne. Although McGregor agrees to do the job, something about it just doesn’t seem right so he sets out to find out exactly what that is with the help of his friends/colleagues Roger Yeoman and Sylvie. In this books people’s motives are clearly set out and yet you don’t get a great feel for the characters other than for what they do.

What Michael Crichton has done really well is mix historical events with the plot of his story so that we get mentions of lost Nazi treasure along with the threat to McGregor and his friends lives. This book also gives us knowledge of deep sea diving and the feeding habits of sharks which adds a real sense of menace to the tone of this book. This is a page-turner like most of the Michael Crichton books I have read and you do really want to know how - or if - the lead characters will get to see the end of the story.

Grave Descend by Michael Crichton writing as John Lange
Paperback: 208 pages
Titan Books, 29 Oct 2013

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