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Mystery Monday Review – The Wreck of the Mary Deare

The Wreck of the Mary Deare by Hammond Innes

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

This 1956 mystery and adventure story gets off to an exciting start. One cold March night, in the English Channel, the three-man crew of the yacht Sea Witch doesn’t have enough on their hands dealing with a rising gale. They look up see the Mary Deare, a 6000-ton freighter, looming over them, almost capsizing their yacht. The skipper of the Sea Witch – our narrator – boards the Mary Deare, but finds that she has been abandoned by its crew.

The only one aboard is the captain who is half-crazed with anxiety and lack of sleep or chow. The Sea Witch’s skipper gets some information out of him, such as the desperate actions the captain took to put out a fire and keep the freighter floating. But more will have to come out during the tense courtroom scenes later.

This book was a best-seller when it was released in the middle Fifties. It gave Innes, a British writer, a solid reputation as a writer the reader could trust for an imaginative and well-crafted tale of suspense and adventure. He always presented a mystery to solve, too. Innes creates plausible characters who are human beings, not super-heroes. Counterparts in his own time were Geoffrey Household, Victor Canning, and Alistair MacLean and in our era James Rollins and Clive Cussler.







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