Paul Garrison's Sea Hunter will appeal to many different audiences. Suspense readers will find the tale enthralling; the novel will also be enjoyed by readers interested in sailing, the ocean, environmentalism, or mad scientists. Set along the eastern seaboard, Sea Hunter is David Hopeís story of being too curious for his own good.
David has become a nomad of the sea in the year since a terrible accident at an offshore oil rig claimed the life of his lover. The novel opens with David dispensing his loverís ashes in the ocean off the British Virgin Islands. As he is sailing back to his home port to pick up his new passengers, his catamaran collides with something he canít identify. As he tries to figure out what could possibly have hit him out on the ocean, he sees a sub-sunk buoy that identifies a U.S. submarine in trouble. Being aware of the enormity of what he has discovered, he quickly radios for help.
The tale that unravels is one of military intrigue as well as personal growth in coming to terms with a lost love. David is seemingly a man naturally attracted to trouble. Although he is continuously warned to forget his minor ocean collision, he persists in following his nose to uncover the true story, no matter the cost.
David reluctantly takes Sally Moffit, an underwater filmmaker, on board when he discovers that his original clients walked off because he was late. Sally needs to make her best underwater documentary film in order to attract backing for future projects. Only because David desperately needs money does he agree to help Sally after he discovers that she has stolen a lot of expensive underwater filming gear from her rich ex-husband.
Sallyís discovery of an unusual dolphin migrating pattern leads the pair to William Tree, a 590-pound man in charge of the largest floating scientific vessel ever designed. Tree needs his latest project to be a success in order to get back in the good graces of his family. Sally knows Tree can back her project more than sufficiently. David knows that Treeís family was involved with his loverís death.
The cat-and-mouse chase at the center of the novel is a modern-day tale of David and Goliath. There are distinct similarities between the movie War Games and the climax of the submarine battlefield in Sea Hunter.
Paul Garrison has created a suspenseful novel set entirely on the ocean. The lengthy descriptions of the parts of the catamaran and the intricacies of sailing pull the reader out of the story at times, as do the story lines that obviously parallel well-known stories. The romantic tale between David and Sally is believable most of the time, yet a bit stretched and insincere at others. The ending for these two is predictable, but the suspense and creative storyline make Sea Hunter an ultimately entertaining read.