Publication date: October 27, 2019
(I received a copy from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review. This post has Amazon affiliate links.)
Fingest Yachts, based in the south of England, is a leading small boat company. It’s founder, Frank Fingest, has recently died, leaving his son’s wife, Debbi, to run the business.
Debbi’s husband Harry is Frank’s son by his first marriage, a likeable man in his twenties, who is not really into business, so he has set off on a round-the-world in a Fingest yacht with his best mate Gerry.
Before leaving the Galapagos islands on the long haul across the Pacific to the French Marquesas, he sends a routine letter to his wife.
All’s well, nothing to report. Then silence. They have disappeared in the vastness of the Pacific.
Tom Wells happened to be the man who delivered the Letter from Galapagos to Debbi and when her husband became seriously overdue she asked Tom to travel to the Pacific to see if he could find out what had happened to husband Harry. To say any more would reveal the plot!
I had almost given up on this book because the pace is quite slow and there is quite a bit of information about the political and social history of French Polynesia and technical details about flying and sailing. Only later did I realize that these details were necessary to understand the sequence of events.
Perhaps we’re so used to fast-paced, high-octane action that we expect every story to progress at breakneck speed. But here, our MC takes his time to get over jet lag, does touristy things, wines and dines, and even resolves a romantic dilemma.
The author puts his lifetime of experience in flying and travel to good use, peppering the book with enough detail to make it a sort of semi-travelogue on the islands in the Pacific Ocean. The action begins in the Galapagos islands and then moves on to Cook Islands, Tahiti, and Bora Bora. It may help to take a look at the map of French Polynesia if, like me, you don’t have much of an idea about the geography of the place.
The author writes in a clear and forthright fashion, showing subtle humor every now and then. Enough restraint is shown in the “explicit” moments to make it comfortable reading for most people.
The plot is complex but laid out neatly, and we’re introduced to it step by step, so it isn’t overwhelming or frustrating. All the loose ends are neatly tied up at the end, and there’s even a surprise happy ending which I hadn’t anticipated.
The only thing I had trouble believing in was the romance–even though it took time to develop, it seemed too “long-distance” to blossom the way it did. I feel the time leaps were not readily apparent, so it seemed like too-quick romance to me.
Tom Wells, the male protagonist, is shown gallivanting in French Polynesia and yet, he isn’t the typical, high-on-style movie hero. He is more of an unwilling traveler, but is persuaded by Debbie’s promise of excitement and money.
Debbie came off as too-trusting of Tom, who is just the bearer of a message. She also seemed too willing to write off Harry, her husband, and move on to other things. But she is quite practical financially, which I found a good thing.
If you can get over the leisurely development of the story, you should be able to enjoy the neatly laid out plot immensely.
About the Author:
Rolf Richardson spent 25 years as an airline pilot before turning to photography and cruise lecturing, a lifetime of travel covering some 110 countries.
He is now writing ‘Easy Read’ fiction, set in some of the places he has visited. Seven of his ebooks are available on Amazon.