Chrichton is a master of the page-turning thriller and I especially appreciate a couple things about his books. First, his use of "evidence" that has the appearance of items in the real world - newspaper articles, scientific journal articles, etc - makes his stories very believable. Second, his extensive research gives the reader insights into technical fields that they would not otherwise possess.
But this book was disappointing. It did not have the crisp transitions from one chapter to the next, perhaps because there were not many venues in the plot, so he could not "change scenes" in such neck-twisting ways as he did, for example, in "State," where he literally took you around the globe from one chapter to the next.
I did enjoy the book. I would not tell someone not to read it. It just did not come close to the other masterpieces that he wrote. I would love to know the story behind this book. To me, it has the feel of a first novel, one that he could not publish, and once he became established, he was embarrassed by it and kept it in his files. I'm just speculating of course.
Everything you have come to expect revolving around the mythology of pirates is in here: raping (a lot of raping), privateering, sea battle cannons, sword fights (only one or two) and even the damn Kraken. But it all adds up to very little. These little snippets and scenes come together to form a story that more as an NC-17 version of Pirates of the Caribbean, rather than an original and engaging Crichton book. And let me … more
Crichton's posthumously published tale opens in 1665 Port Royal, Jamaica - the Caribbean equivalent of the cut-throat, brutal, lawless midwest in 18th century USA where "might was right" and the fastest shooter had his way. "Pirate Latitudes" revolves around Captain Hunter, an English pirate by any name, but more euphemistically called a "privateer" by the English authorities in order to minimize likely diplomatic dust-ups between King Charles II of England and King … more