This thrilling nautical mystery begins with an empty ship coasting through the dark and unfolds into a courtroom drama.
On a cold, foggy night, a little sailboat called the Sea Witch is cruising calmly through the dark when a freighter suddenly rears out of the mist on a collision course. The crew of the small craft leaps into action, straining the Sea Witch’s sails to the limit, barely getting her out of the way. John Sands, captain of the Sea Witch, catches a glimpse of the great ship as it passes by: Her name is Mary Deare, and her crew is nowhere to be seen.
A salvage expert, Sands sees a payday in the abandoned, drifting hulk. He finds one man aboard the Mary Deare, the first officer, who has driven himself half-mad trying to sail the freighter on his own. Getting the ship safely to port and unraveling the mystery of why it was abandoned will push Sands to his breaking point—and reveal the true nature of greed on the high seas.
The inspiration for a film of the same name starring Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston, this incredible nautical adventure is a chilling story of maritime justice, and the terrible things that happen when the order is given to abandon ship.
Open Road Media; October 2016
- ISBN: 9781504040082
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: The Wreck of the Mary Deare
- Author: Hammond Innes
Imprint: Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller
In The Press
“Excellent excitement . . . A stormy tale of damaged men and a desperate enterprise.” —Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Hammond Innes
“Mr. Innes is a whale of a writer.” —The New York Times
“Authentic and excellent . . . His plot, characters and suspense live up to the setting.” —San Francisco Chronicle on Air Bridge
“Great Britain’s leading adventure novelist.” —Financial Times
“Hammond Innes was exceptional even within an exceptional breed. . . . A romantic adventurer in the style of Rider Haggard, Robert Louis Stevenson and Rudyard Kipling.” —The Guardian
“Hammond Innes deals magnificently with disaster.” —The Observer
About The Author
Hammond Innes (1913–1998) was the British author of over thirty novels, as well as children’s and travel books. Born Ralph Hammond Innes in Horsham, Sussex, he was educated at the Cranbrook School in Kent. He left in 1931 to work as a journalist at the Financial News. The Doppelganger, his first novel, was published in 1937. Innes served in the Royal Artillery in World War II, eventually rising to the rank of major. A number of his books were published during the war, including Wreckers Must Breathe (1940), The Trojan Horse (1940), and Attack Alarm (1941), which was based on his experiences as an anti-aircraft gunner during the Battle of Britain.
Following his demobilization in 1946, Innes worked full-time as a writer, achieving a number of early successes. His novels are notable for their fine attention to accurate detail in descriptions of place, such as Air Bridge (1951), which is set at RAF stations during the Berlin Airlift. Innes’s protagonists were often not heroes in the typical sense, but ordinary men suddenly thrust into extreme situations by circumstance. Often, this involved being placed in a hostile environment—for example, the Arctic, the open sea, deserts—or unwittingly becoming involved in a larger conflict or conspiracy. Innes’s protagonists are forced to rely on their own wits rather than the weapons and gadgetry commonly used by thriller writers. An experienced yachtsman, his great love and understanding of the sea was reflected in many of his novels.
Innes went on to produce books on a regular schedule of six months for travel and research followed by six months of writing. He continued to write until just before his death, his final novel being Delta Connection (1996). At his death, he left the bulk of his estate to the Association of Sea Training Organisations to enable others to experience sailing in the element he loved.