Book Review: Riptide

Book Review

Riptide

Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 Stars)

Riptide by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child is a thriller based on the real life Oak Island Money Pit, which is a rumoured burial site for hidden pirate treasure. Over the past 200 years, many attempts have been made to excavate the site for the rumoured treasures below, but all have ultimately failed and fallen apart, with lives lost in the process. This is the story of a modern attempt much like those which came before, brimming with overconfidence and even arrogance, all of which turns to greed and foolishness, which result in disaster.

I discovered the mystery of Oak Island many years ago and it is an absoltuely tantalizing one. Sadly, it’s very likely that there is no mystery, no treasure at all, and that it’s just a natural sinkhole. But when the mystery is laid out and all the rumours are there, it makes you itch to get out there and start digging yourself.

Riptide’s intro actually stays pretty close to the real, documented events that have taken place over the last 200 years and sets up the story as the lastest in those arrogant attempts to tackle the deadly island. Being a Preston & Child book, I assumed it was a thriller, and it was, but initial events in the story had me wondering if maybe it wasn’t going to turn into a bit of a horror. Then I got really excited and hoped it would turn into a real supernatural ghost story that would be creepy and awesome. I mean, come on, pirate ghosts are the best ghosts, right?

Sadly, the story tinkered on with a much more mundane storyline, no ghosts at all, and wrapped up in a rather ‘scientific’ ending. Something realistically plausible. Which is fine. But when you’re all pumped up for a ghost story, what the hell, man? Right? I would have totally bumped the review up to 5 stars if there’d been actual ghosts.

Still, the authors keep the story moving and include some nice character driven plotlines which deepen the story so it isn’t all about action. Though there is action, and sometimes it has you on the edge of your seat. Especially when everyone loses their shit near the end and starts wearing their crazy-pants.

It being Preston & Child too, I knew they aren’t shy about killing off characters in their books, so, being a fan of their stuff, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, know what I mean? Ok, you’ve made us root for this one or that one and this love story or that one, at what point are they going to die? Cave in? Stormy seas? Any minute now… Normally, I hate it when they kill off a character I’d rather not lose, but this time they didn’t, so I was happy.

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