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'Sailor Take Warning': a Novel of Suspense - Book Review

Updated on March 22, 2019
John Bolt profile image

John is a writer based in Portsmouth in the United Kingdom who enjoys writing on a wide range of personal and professional interests.


This is a new suspense novel you will not want to miss.

The book: 'Sailor Take Warning' by Richard Bolt.

Published by Encircle Publications based in Maine, this book was released in November 2018.

I purchased the book myself before Christmas through Amazon, and was not disappointed. Here is a quick description of the plot.

Title cover of 'Sailor Take Warning' by Richard Bolt
Title cover of 'Sailor Take Warning' by Richard Bolt | Source

Plot synopsis

On a morning run by the Charles River in Cambridge, MIT Professor Bill Rundle discovers the body of his graduate assistant Justin Marsh floating in the water. Was it an accident? Could it have been suicide? The chilling fact that his body was missing its left eye suggested something more sinister.

Discovery of a posthumous email, sent to Rundle from Marsh's computer, entrusts Rundle with an encoded “expert program” modeled after the sailing prowess of Marsh’s uncle Bennett Eames, a world-class yachtsman, now terminally ill with ALS. The program, originally intended to tutor young novice sailors, could, when coupled with on-board sensors and motors, masterfully auto-pilot an ocean racing yacht.

But Rundle himself is under suspicion by the police with Marsh last seen alive in an argument with Rundle. Rundle now ponders who could have wanted the program badly enough to kill?

Developing a list of suspects, each linked to an America's Cup challenge team seeking to gain their own unassailable competitive edge: a sinister Russian Mafioso; an aggressive Japanese millionaire; a driven Boston-based high-tech entrepreneur; and even the head of Rundle's own lab.

Mounting threats and perils pursue Rundle from Venice, Italy to Sydney, Australia in his quest to solve Marsh's murder and clear his own name. When another colleague is found dead, Rundle deciphers a complex clue that leads him to a climactic encounter.

Vivid and artful settings

What is also compelling are the settings of this book.

The descriptions of Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Greater Boston Area, are well written with an overwhelmingly familiar feeling. For the reader familiar with the communities and scenery, these descriptive passages will ring true with recognition.

Also vividly depicted are the setting of Sydney and Venice. These two both provide fascinating locations for the developing drama, which unfolds with some globetrotting flair.

The unifying theme of all three locations of course is the nautical and maritime links, which is very much the theme and backdrop of this book - the winner takes all competitive spirit for the America's Cup. The other theme that underlies this plot, a detail which will appeal to the technology inclined, is the use of artificial intelligence and software to navigate shipping, and in this case, to win a sailing race.


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