18 February 2011

Book Review: Grave Descend by John Lange

Grave DescendGrave Descend by John Lange

: Dorchester Publishing Company; November 2006
ISBN: 9780843955972
Original Publisher: Constant c Productions; 1970
Paperback: 203 pages
Genre: Mystery
Source: GoodReads swap
Time to Read: 2 hours

| Enjoyability: 4 | Readability: E | Characterization: 4 | Overall: A- |
(Traditional Rating: 4 Stars)

Synopsis (from Amazon)
Diver James McGregor is used to being hired to explore sunken ships. But there’s something strange about the wreck of the luxury yacht Grave Descend. No one who was aboard tells quite the same story about what happened. Then there’s the matter of 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.
My favorite author since adolescence is Michael Crichton ever since I watched Jurassic Park and read The Lost World.  By the time I graduated high school, I had read everything he had printed in his own name to that point.  However, I had only read one of his pseudonymous works and really did not know what else he had written.  Thanks to GoodReads, I was able to get a quick list of everything attributed to Crichton and even put them on a wish list so, when someone was ready to swap out their copy, I would have a chance to get it.

Grave Descend was the first book to become available to swap from another GoodReads reader, and I jumped at the chance.  This was a very quick read and pretty easy to follow.  Crichton had written this book while in medical school, and it was published in 1970.  That year it was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. The printing I read was the first reprint ever of the book (from my research), which was published for the Hard Case Crime series.

My Reaction
This was a very quick and enjoyable read. It reactivated that part of my brain that had enjoyed the Hardy Boys stories as I tried to figure out the mystery as it was unfolding. The main characters were easy to cheer on, rather reminiscent of the hero of an action movie.  The antagonists were complex enough to be believable, but still somewhat larger than life. I guess you get that from these stories where espionage and coverup are involved.

There were times when I got a bit confused by some of the action and which character was whom, a problem I think would be somewhat unavoidable in this specific story. I had to read the last chapter twice to figure out what did finally happen to the relationships of the main characters.  Overall, the book was a nice distraction from doing things not related to reading and is something I could easily pick up and read a couple more times.

Reading Challenges:

Want this book?  Care to help out LeviSamJuno, too?  Click to buy Grave Descend from my aStore.