BY JUSTIN SCOTT (PEGASUS BOOKS, RELEASE DATE JUNE 8, 2012; 432 PAGES; $25.95 U.S. / $30.00 CANADA)
REVIEW BY WAYNE GAGNON
In the mid-1970s the world changed forever as we, the general public, were made aware of just how fragile our way of life is during the first oil shortage. Those of us who are old enough can remember when lines formed at gas stations around the country, and although we had never heard of OPEC, it soon became a household name. It was against this backdrop that Justin Scott wrote The Shipkiller, which has just been put back into print in a 35th anniversary edition. This is a modern-day David and Goliath story, with Peter Hardin as David. Goliath is the 1,800-foot Ultra-large Crude Carrier (ULCC) Leviathan that runs down Peter’s 40-foot ketch, Siren, during a squall in the North Atlantic without even noticing. Carolyn, Peter’s wife, is killed but somehow Peter survives and, after reaching several dead ends in his attempts to bring those responsible to justice, he takes matters into his own hands. The story takes us sailing from the North Atlantic to the Persian Gulf, with a few side trips into political intrigue, military corruption, and a little romance, though not enough of the latter to diminish the story.