From Publishers Weekly
The Patagonian toothfish—which can live up to 50 years and grow to six feet long—is an ugly creature considered too bland for eating by most South Americans. Its high fat content, codlike texture and lack of a fishy taste convinced a Los Angeles fish merchant who found the toothfish in Chile in 1977 that, given an exotic new name, it would do quite well in America. By 1998, "Chilean sea bass" had become the hottest restaurant craze: "[e]veryone had to have it." Knecht (The Proving Ground
) weaves a parallel plot, which takes place in the South Indian Ocean in 2003, where an Australian patrol boat is hunting down a pirate vessel for stealing toothfish. The chase takes them thousands of nautical miles away to dangerous Antarctic waters and involves South African mercenaries and a dramatic boarding in dangerous seas. Knecht's gripping book flips between the commercial history of the toothfish—just the latest of many culinary fads that end up threatening an ocean species—and the chase, which illuminates the practically lawless world of commercial fishing, where factory boats with vast dragnets can devastate a population in just a couple of years, a practice the author calls "the marine equivalent of strip mining." First serial in the Wall Street Journal. (May)
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“Hooked is a fish story, a global whodunit, a courtroom drama, and a critically important ecological message all rolled into one.” ―Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation
“A high-seas adventure with enough action and suspense to have you holding your breath. A mystery that untangles the roots of a culinary fad fitfully hatched and marketed from Los Angeles. A courtroom thriller. Proof positive that an objective eye is the most persuasive of all. Mr. G. Bruce Knecht, take a bow.” ―Los Angeles Times