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Riptide (Agent Pendergast series) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1999

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Product Details

  • Series: Agent Pendergast series
  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446607177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446607179
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (362 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The authors' first and bestselling thriller, The Relic, hit the lists in part for its clever exploitation of an extraordinary settingAthe American Museum of Natural History. Just so, their fourth novel (after Reliquary) makes sprightly use of Nova Scotia's Oak Island and its notorious Money PitAhere transplanted to offshore Maine as the Water Pit on Ragged Island. The novel opens with a brisk recap of often fatal efforts over the past 200 years to recover a fabled treasureAnow worth $2 billion and including a mysterious relic, St. Michael's SwordAhidden by English pirate Edward Ockham in the Water Pit. The difficulty is that the Pit, nearly 200 feet deep, was designed to flood and to kill through booby traps anyone trying to broach the treasure. Into this nifty setup steps Martin Hatch, returning to Ragged Island 25 years after his brother and father died in the Pit. Hatch is back as part of a massive expedition attempting a high-tech assault on the Pit. Brash melodrama ensues as expedition members suffer various gory accidents and as Hatch realizes that the Sword possesses a quality that may kill the entire expedition. The novel suffers from a diffusion of villainsAthe authors variously demonize the Pit, the Pit's designer, the crazed expedition leader and the SwordAand from workaday prose and assembly-line characters (a computer nerd, a sexy French archeologist, a righteous minister). Machine-gun pacing, startling plot twists and smart use of legend, scientific lore (including cyptanalysis) and the evocative setting carry the day, however, resulting in an exciting boys' adventure tale for adults that's bound to be one of most popular of the summer reads. Film rights optioned by Arnold Kopelson; foreign rights sold in eight countries; simultaneous Time Warner audio. (July) FYI: The mystery of Oak Island and its Money Pit has been detailed in several books (e.g., D'arcy O'Conner's The Money Pit, 1978). The Pit, target over the past two centuries of numerous failed expeditions costing millions of dollars and six lives, is variously rumored to contain Captain Kidd's treasure, Incan gold and even the Holy Grail.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

The authors, who hit the big time with The Relic (remember the Paramount movie?), return with a tale of buried treasure. The $2 billion cache, at the bottom of a water pit on Ragged Island, ME, was evidently cursed by the English pirate to whom it belonged?which may be why treasure hunters keep dying in the attempt to recover it. Movie rights have already been optioned by Twentieth Century Fox, and foreign rights have been sold to eight countries.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I would highly recommend this book if you enjoy a good adventure.
The story moves with interesting twists and turns that continuously excite the reader.
Kenneth E. Weaver
I look forward to reading another of their books, as this was my first.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Robin C. on February 4, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read other books by Child/Preston (Relic and Reliquary) and found them fun but the writing just a little rough.
But Riptide, now--Wow! They have really hit their stride on this one. The pacing is great and the thought they put into how to approach the diabolically clever puzzle of the treasure pit is impressive.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book right to the end, even sneaking out to sit in my car at work to finish it!
In the first few pages of the book, we are introduced to the main character, Malin Hatch, as a boy, and see the gruesome tragedy that shadows the rest of his life, but that will not be fully explained until the end of the book. Then we skip forward 30 years. Ladies and gentlemen, THAT's what I call a "hook!" I was certainly hooked until the very end.
I'm certain you will enjoy this roller coaster ride of a book.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Adam Degnan on December 9, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm usually bored with formula novels and I expected to be disappointed by this one as well. The buried pirate's treasure angle has been done numerous times since "Treasure Island", but never quite as well as the original. This novel, however, gave the story a unique twist that was entirely exhilarating and fresh.
The story follows the latest (of many) attempts to retrieve the unheard of treasure of the pirate "Red Ned" Ockham. The book begins by giving a 200-year history of the fates of treasure-seekers and explains why they have all failed. The reason is the devious "Water-Pit" trap, designed by the architect Macallan, a man known for his church steeples and not for his booby-trapping ability.
The story is believable and fun. The main character, Malin Hatch, is a lovable little schlep who occasionally grows cajones when they're needed. Unfortunately, his run-ins with Streeter and his bizarre love-life are laughable at best. His first-love, Claire, is a one-dimensional character easily forgotten. The exotic Isobel Bonterre is also easily forgettable, though much more interesting than the aforementioned Claire. The town preacher, Woody Clay, is as dynamic a character as Captain Niedelman, the leader of the treasure hunt. Both of them keep you guessing, which is odd, because zealots are usually uninteresting to read about.
I don't want to spoil the book or the eventual movie for the reader. Just read it and tell your friends about it. This was my first Preston and Childs book and I'm sure it won't be my last. I enjoyed the mix of history, archaelogy, geology, computer science, medicine, cryptography, and architecture. This book made me feel much more well-rounded intellectually. Read it!
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on January 11, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once again, Preston and Child have not only proven that they write a great story, but that they write truly original ones.
Riptide succeeds on many levels, but the character development is particularly strong. Preston and Child lead you throught a maze of pertsonalities, cross-purpose and deceit without ever missing a beat. There is no true "bad guy" in this novel, bu there are many people who fall victim to some of the less savory aspects of human nature. That's really what makes "Riptide" so enjoyable, it has an end, but it's not as neat and tidy as many might hope.
As in many of Preston/Child's books, the nemisis isn't a who, but a what. In this case it's the most diabolical treasure trove since Oak Island, which contains an artifact with a sinister, irresistable allure.
I enjoyed this book immensely, it's only downside is that you can't read it on a week night because you'll never sleep.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lesley West on July 4, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for an action packed book with complex and interesting characters, potential curses, pirate treasure beyond anyone's dreams and general danger and havoc (which of course always goes with this combination of factors), then this is the book for you, and what a fantastic ride it is!

These authors can always be relied on to produce great tales, and this is no exception. Just when you think you have the plot lines figured out, there are little red herrings and interesting side plots to keep you guessing.

I do have one small issue - I figured out the mysterious health issues befalling many characters before our heroic doctor and main character did, but I decided to forgive him this small lapse as he is of course digging for buried pirate treasure under distressing and challenging conditions!

This is a great, edge of your seat read. Something to treat yourself while on a sunny beach somewhere, or in front of a roaring fire. And be aware it is a real page turner - you may just have to finish it in one sitting!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Donald J. Bingle on March 4, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
RipTide is a thrilling adventure and a great page-turner. Like Dan Brown's DaVinci Code, the authors take some relatively dry scholarly theories about real events and locations (here, clearly Oak Island's Money Pit) and weave an exciting adventure around the revelations and theories about the topic. There is plenty of action and lots of interesting information to keep you entertained and reading. A stronger book, I think, than Preston's The Codex. My only disappointment was that by relocating the action to a fictional Maine location rather than Canada's actual Oak Island and making no bibliographic or other acknowledgment of the Money Pit story (the acknowledgment identifies Ragged Island as "completely fictitious"), the authors provide no guidance for those who want to know more about Oak Island and the theories surrounding it. Since the tale they set forth is plenty clever and exciting, with an original spin on the Oak Island theories, I'm not sure what would have been lost by acknowledging a tie to a real world location.
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Riptide (Agent Pendergast series)
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