This story is about a father and daughter Private Investigator's firm that is employed by a family whose son has died aboard a super tanker in the Indian Ocean. The Rossi's want to know what happened to their son and where his belongings have gone. They are frustrated as the Maritime Company will not give them any information other than he fell down a ladder and died and was buried at sea. They just want more information so that they can have closure.
As James and Julie Raiford start their investigation that will take them from Denver Colorado to London England and a SuperTanker off the coast of Saudi Arabia. What they start to uncover as they look into the situation is that there are discrepancies in the stories and that someone seems to want to cover things up. A local investigator that was first working on the case has been murdered. While there appears no direct link to the case of the dead sailor, they can't be sure that it wasn't.
The Raiford's will uncover a larger criminal problem than anyone can imagine. It may cost both James and Julie their lives as those behind the criminal acts are not bothered by murdering anyone investigating or talking about the incident.
What I enjoyed most about the novel was the author's description of the supertanker and life aboard the vessel. Also his knowledge of the maritime trade is well researched and gives some real depth to the story. I knew very little of these oil tankers but learned much while reading the novel.
I think the story is well developed, the characters well documented and the life of a sailor very detailed and given to the reader in a way to make you angry with the officers (the elite class) and sad for the deckhands (the poor and impoverished). How else can you put it when the officers are getting wealthy but the deckhand works for room and board and $1.00 a day.
I'm looking forward to reading some of Rex Burns other novels. If they are developed as well as this one they will be fun to work through.
So, why only 1 star? Well, while he developed the story well I felt that it could have had a bit more development and a more interesting ending. But that doesn't detract from the overall story and it is still highly enjoyable reading.