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Retro Reading: The Island by Peter Benchley

Updated on March 7, 2019

Today editor Blair Maynard has hit a rut in his career at the weekly magazine. He's really not going anywhere at the magazine and occasionally he's able to pick up some freelance work, but that's about it. Until he came across an interesting fact about boats and people disappearing in the Caribbean.

Intrigued, he pitches an investigative story to his editor and it's really not for the magazine, but Maynard's gut tells him that there's a story somewhere. The one thing he doesn't know is that he and his son, Justin, will soon become a part of those that mysteriously disappeared.

When Maynard's ex-wife asks him if he can take Justin for a few days, Maynard takes the boy with him up to Washington, D.C. where he's going to talk with a member of the Coast Guard and after talking with him, he decides to take Justin with him to Miami at the spur of the moment.

His curiosity gets the best of him and the two eventually wind up in the islands.

After the plane they were on crashes at the airport, they're told they won't be able to get out right away, so they stay at a hotel where Maynard meets Windsor, a doctor. The two shoot the breeze and eventually go their separate ways, until the next day when Maynard and Justin appear at Windsor's house.

Windsor let's Maynard borrow a boat so that the father and son can do some deep sea fishing and while fishing, the boat is taken over by pirates and the pair are kidnapped to a remote island.

What Maynard soon finds out is what nightmares are made of, even if it's in a tranquil tropical paradise.

I can't remember if I had read this back when it first came out, but I did manage to struggle through it.

For me, I felt that the best part of the novel was after Blair and Justin were kidnapped and that's when the isolation began. No matter whet they did their every move was being watched and for Maynard, his life clock was ticking since he was told that he would not be leaving the island alive.

There seemed to be a big plot hole with the pirates and I often asked myself why they didn't kidnap other people. They may have and the woman, Beth, could have had some answers but they never seemed to have been answered. I couldn't be sure if she had been kidnapped earlier and the prostitutes and catamites really didn't seem to have any purpose on the island.

Although a little confusing, there are some points when this is a great read and other times it's not the best.

The only thing that I do know is I;ll never go cruising the Caribbean. Even if it's on a passenger liner.


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