Thursday, 20 December 2012

Hijack! by Nicole Stuart

Book Title:  Hijack! By Nicole Stuart

ISBN  9781465793454

Part of Series:  No


Available at:  Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple , Diesel , Baker-Taylor, Sony

Price:  $3.99

Number of words (approximately):  46 613

Star Rating (of five):  4

Summary:  A vacation at an idyllic beach camp turns into a nightmare when a group is drawn into the planned hijacking of a shipment by a group of ruthless criminals.  The result is a series of murders, a gunfight at night in the African bush and a boat battle at sea. 


- “There they are, Ben.  Dead ahead!”

Ben looked carefully, and saw the huge bow wave of the Naval vessel rushing down at them.  It was going to be a close thing!  He looked around at the pursuing vessels.  A man was standing high in the cockpit, looking over the windscreen at them, a tubular object on his shoulder, foreshortened by the perspective.

“Hold tight, Penelope!  I’m going to have to turn quickly in a second!”  He glanced at Penelope, saw that she had taken a firm grasp on the handhold ahead of her.  He was glad that she could act without a need for a detailed explanation.  Ben looked back at the boats behind them.  There was a gout of smoke from the rear of the tube on the man’s shoulder.  Ben held on a further second, then spun the wheel across to its limit.  The boat heeled sharply as the steerable motor running at full power kicked the stern sharply around, then it heeled into the turn, and Ben corrected the steering to avoid turning in a complete circle.  The roaring sound as the rocket sped past them only a short distance behind their stern was deafening, the effect of the powerful rocket engine only meters away almost overpowering, then it plunged into the sea a couple of hundred meters ahead of where they had turned.  The explosion raised a huge spout of water.  Ben turned sharply again, not as sharply as before, to bring them back to their original course, the motor still running at full power, and steered them past the disturbed water, the spray dropping over them as they passed.  Any diversion from their course would bring them closer to the two boats chasing them!  Just the quick turn to the side and then back onto their course had cost them many meters of separation from the pursuers!

“I don’t think they’ve seen the Naval vessel yet, Penelope!  I fixed their radios, so they can’t have heard the conversation, and I think that our hull has probably obstructed their view as well as of their radar!  Perhaps they’ve been so busy chasing us that they forgot to look at their radar!  If they had seen it, they would have been running away!”

As they settled back onto zero eight zero degrees, Penelope looked ahead through the windscreen cleared by the wipers.

“Look, Ben!  They’re here!”  Ben looked where she pointed, and saw the lean grey shape of the Naval Patrol vessel, almost head on.  It came up to them, their closing speed nearly seventy knots, and shot past only a few meters away from them, its bow wave hitting their boat with tons of solid water and its wake throwing them around violently, pushing them sharply aside and threatening to overturn them, before the sea-keeping qualities of the little boat asserted themselves and it came back upright in the disturbed waves, water streaming from the scuppers as the cockpit drained clear.  As the sleek Naval vessel closed the distance to the foremost of their two pursuers, there was another gout of smoke from the cockpit of the leading boat.  A trail of smoke sped across the rapidly diminishing distance between the Naval vessel and the hijacker.  Ben saw the smoke as the rocket was fired and turned sharply to the left, away from the Patrol boat, and the Naval vessel jinked sharply to the right.  The maneuver was marginally too late, and the rocket impacted its stern quarter rail of the Patrol boat.  There was a huge explosion.  As the smoke cleared, Penelope and Ben could see that the Naval vessel had suffered some damage, but its fighting capabilities were not diminished.  The hijackers saw that too, and they veered sharply away towards the north, throwing huge sheets of spray away from the turn.  It was clear that they were considerably faster than the Naval vessel!  Only an intervention by a fighter aircraft could stop them escaping!  The two boats bounced as they crossed the wave pattern, throwing sheets of spray into the quiet air.  They were jinking from side to side, making it almost impossible for the gunner on the foredeck of the Patrol boat to lay the gun on them in the motion of the boat as it crossed the wave pattern.

“They’re going to get away!” -

Reviewer’s Comments:

Structure:  The book is well structured for eBook reading, with good use of language, grammar and syntax.

Content:  The book flows well, with peace changing to action smoothly and credibly.  The characters are well described, and the plot exciting and absorbing.

Reviewer’s Comments:  Nicole Stuart has an ability to make her characters the sort of people we might like to be!  They are real people, with foibles, but with a desire to make it through to the end of her exciting plots.  This book makes an absorbing and enjoyable read.


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