GRAVE DESCEND by John Lange: Hard Case Crime Reprint #26 of the 1970 Edgar nominated story of the sinking of the yacht Grave Descend. McGregor is hired to dive the wreck and see if the boat is salvageable. Before the dive there is one problem each person he talks to has a different story the insurance adjuster who is the owners brother, the chorus line dancer whose presence the owner wants kept hidden, the vessels captain why are none of the stories adding up? Why did the boat sink, why is its position so precisely known, what is to be gained by delaying the news of its sinking twenty four hours, why has no one already been inquiring, and lastly what is on the boat that is so valuable? McGregor needs to get answers and survive. Well-written, fast read.
My favorite author since adolescence is Michael Crichton ever since I watched Jurassic Park and read The Lost World. By the time I graduated high school, I had read everything he had printed in his own name to that point. However, I had only read one of his pseudonymous works and really did not know what else he had written. Thanks to GoodReads, I was able to get a quick list of everything attributed to Crichton and even put them on a wish list so, when someone was ready to swap out their copy, I would have a chance to get it.
Grave Descend was the first book to become available to swap from another GoodReads reader, and I jumped at the chance. This was a very quick read and pretty easy to follow. Crichton had written this book while in medical school, and it was published in 1970. That year it was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. The printing I read was the first reprint ever of the book (from my research), which was published for the Hard Case Crime series.
This was a very quick and enjoyable read. It reactivated that part of my brain that had enjoyed the Hardy Boys stories as I tried to figure out the mystery as it was unfolding. The main characters were easy to cheer on, rather reminiscent of the hero of an action movie. The antagonists were complex enough to be believable, but still somewhat larger than life. I guess you get that from these stories where espionage and coverup are involved.
There were times when I got a bit confused by some of the action and which character was whom, a problem I think would be somewhat unavoidable in this specific story. I had to read the last chapter twice to figure out what did finally happen to the relationships of the main characters. Overall, the book was a nice distraction from doing things not related to reading and is something I could easily pick up and read a couple more times.