(my Amazon.com review)
Atypical of most of Michael Crichton's techno-sci-fi thrillers, this pirate adventure set in the 1660s is a most satisfying caper, full of high-seas adventures, chases, gun-battles, cut-throat savagery, plots, coups, and more.
Captain Hunter is hired by the James Almont, governor of Port Royal, to attack a Spanish galleon, docked at Matanceros, and protected by the fearsome sadist Cazalla. Hunter assembles a motley crew of the worst of the worst to proceed on a voyage to this port, attack the fort, steal the galleon, and make their way back to Port Royal. There are enough twists in the tale to keep you fully engaged in the novel. The characters are fairly well described, without drowning in details. The life and times of the 17th century come alive vividly in the author's words - and most will most certainly be thankful they live in the 21st century. The scenes describing the gun battles are vivid enough to make you an observer on deck.
And this is no Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl either. Sample this
"Nearby, another man took a direct hit from a ball. It cut his body in half, his legs falling out beneath him. The stump of his torso screamed and rolled on the deck for a few moments until shock brought death."
State of Fear