Who: Andrew Grant
When: Published December 12th 1999 by Shoal Bay Press
Tyler Smith is a New Zealand adventurer, mountain climber and salvage expert who has already become a legend among his fellow countrymen. Now the rumors circulate that he has discovered the wreckage and the gold of the General Grant - but has he?
The enigmatic Smith is one of the most recognizable faces in the South Pacific, but he is a man who few people actually know. Even his girl friend, the fiery and determined journalist Amanda Wylie, fails to comprehend the devious complexities of her lover. Neither does his long-time diving partner Falklands veteran Scotty Black. The secrets Smith holds could re-write the history books.
Smith and the crew of the salvage ship Skua have discovered a fortune in gold bullion, but they are not alone in the wild waters of the Auckland Islands. Who is Rhys Baron, and why is he out to destroy Smith, on a quest that has nothing and everything to do with Tyler's gold?
Set in the stormy seas south of New Zealand, Tyler's Gold is a rip-roaring tale of gold lust, hot sex, cold treachery and murder.
Strap yourself into your easy chair and prepare to take the ride of your life beyond the Roaring Forties into the sub-Antarctic wilderness with Tyler Smith and the crew of Skua.
Another pretty damn good book from Andrew Grant. It's not really, but sort of, a sequel to his earlier book Hawks. The stories are not linked, but they take place in the same 'universe' so-to-speak. Set in New Zealand with typically Kiwi characters, you get the same sort of experience reading this as you do with Hawks.
The basic premise of the story is that Tyler Smith, the main character, has learned of the location of quite a lot of gold that was on board a Nazi U-boat headed for South America. The U-boat allegedly sunk in the vicinity of the Auckland Islands to the south of New Zealand after being attacked off the coast of Africa. Smith is in the salvage business and has his own ship and crew, so he's off to recover the gold while keeping everything hush-hush under the cover-story of searching for the wreck of the General Grant.
What he doesn't bargain on is that an old enemy of his, Rhys Baron, has cottoned on to the fact that Smith is up to something and puts things in motion to follow him down to the islands on his own boat. Baron assembles a crew of badass thugs with weaponry and heads off in pursuit to obtain the loot for himself.
What ensues is a fantastic tale of adventure. There's lots of action on and off the water and things get pretty nasty between the two factions. We also eventually learn some background information that explains the bad blood between Smith and Baron.
If you have read and enjoyed Hawks, you will like this one just as much - if not more. The characters have a tad more depth than in the previous book and the action is just as exciting yet more believable. Another very good book.
Check it out at Goodreads.