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-“Pirate Latitudes”

by Dr. D ~

By Michael Crichton (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2009, 312 pages)

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The last novel of Michael Crichton published posthumously. I received the book as a Christmas gift and couldn’t put it down until the last page.

Typical of any Crichton book, a lot of research must have gone into the work. The story is real and based up actual historical events as are most of the major characters. It gives you a real feel for what life must have been like in that time and far away place.

The setting is 17th century Caribbean and the Island of Jamaica. A time when the Spanish dominated the whole region while the English governor was left to depend upon ‘privateers’ who were really not much more than pirates depending upon ones point of view.

If the Spanish caught them they were hung as pirates, however they received a heroes welcome back in Port Royal Jamaica if they succeeded in a raid against the Spanish as long as they were attacked first and carried English papers.

The story is based upon Captain Charles Hunter’s innovative successful raid upon the Spanish port of Matanceros and the capture of a Spanish treasure filled galleon—El Trinidad.

There are a number of twists and turns in the story and enough action and adventure to keep you glued to the pages till the very end. It starts off slow but picks up after Captain Hunter and his group leave for Matanceros—it is non-stop from there.

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