Fire and Ice

A thrilling novel that involves a kidnapping on the high seas and a heart-thumping chase through several ports in the Far East, Fire and Ice will grab anyone with a maritime interest. Michael Stone and his wife Sarah are doctors who sail their yacht around the South Pacific caring for local islanders. When his wife and daughter are plucked from the ocean, along with their yacht, by a giant liquefied natural gas carrier, Stone finds himself helplessly alone on a deserted atoll with only a wreck of a sailing canoe. He refits the boat and then, sailing without instruments, begins an arduous journey to find his family.

Like most good suspense novels, Fire and Ice is the kind of book that the reader cannot get out of his mind until every page has been devoured. What sets this book apart is the author’s knowledge of the ocean and ships: Paul Garrison has sailed the world’s oceans on yachts, tugs, and merchant ships. His skill as a storyteller comes to life because his technical experience as a sailor is real. Garrison’s characters, like all great sailors, are enjoyable because of their resourcefulness and independence. Especially intense is a scene where Stone navigates a megayacht through a crowded anchorage at night, makes a few daring maneuvers, and then heads for the open sea.

Avon Books, New York, N.Y.; ph: 212-261-6800; 389 pgs.; $15.95.

By Ocean Navigator