|Pirate Latitudes is Michael Crichtons
latest, and presumably last, book the manuscript was discovered in his papers after
his death in 2008.
Pirate Latitudes is a swashbuckling yarn of the
privateer Charles Hunter of Port Royal, Jamaica and his attempts to land that one big
prize: a Spanish West Indies treasure ship.
The novel suffers a few defects, as Mr Crichton was apparently not yet ready to put it
forward for publication (being as it was in his papers), but it holds together well. The
story moves along at a decent clip, with the illustrious hero having to navigate hazards
of nautical and non-nautical nature (capture by the Spanish, a hurricane, cannibals, sea
monsters and more) often having to rely on those he didnt with good reason trust.
The characters are well drawn and believable, even if at times they behaved like modern
day persons planted in the seventeenth century.
The defects were few and explained why the Pirate Latitudes was still
waiting to be submitted for publication at the time of Mr Crichtons death. There
were a couple of episodes (the story is told in six parts) that felt under developed here
or there as a possible storyline. This was a work in progress, something the author
considered unfinished. The reviewer wonders how much better Pirate Latitudes
would have been if it had been a finished work.
Patchy as it is even an unfinished, unrevised novel by Michael Crichton is worth
reading. However, such was Michael Crichtons skill and expertise as an author that
even the defects are seen only in retrospect.