Thursday, March 3, 2011




Best known for his 1956 debut novel, A Twist Of Sand, South African born author Geoffrey Jenkins is a master of the sea-going adventure to rival Hammond Innes or Alistair MacLean.

Jenkins often imaginatively wove fact into the fictional fabric of his novels. Scend Of The Sea is a perfect example of his technique – taking the Bermuda Triangle-type sinking of the Blue Anchor ocean liner Waratah off the coast of South Africa in 1909, the disappearance of a Viscount airliner belonging to South African Airlines in the same area in 1976, and tying them together to produce a story resolving the mysteries in a high stakes and imaginatively satisfying way.


In 1909, the crack Blue Anchor liner, the Waratah, sinks without trace, or survivors, off the coast of South Africa. In 1967, the Gemsbok, a Viscount airliner of South African Airways disappears in exactly the same place.

To some it is merely an uncanny mystery. To others a tragedy. People like Ian Fairlie, captain of the weather ship Walvis Bay--whose father was the pilot of the Gemsbok and whose grandfather was the first officer of the Waratah.

Ian Fairlie has sworn that he will resolve the mystery. But to do so, he must face cyclonic winds and mountainous seas, risking his ship, his life and the woman he loves...

Dramatically linking the incidents via three generations of Fairlies – Douglas Fairlie, first officer of the Waratah, Bruce Fairlie pilot of the Viscount, and Ian Fairlie, the novel’s hero – brilliantly personalizes the venture for the reader and ratchets up the tension.

In the face of official opposition, in the face of terrifying seas and gales, risking career and life, Ian Failie is determined to break the deadly fate that had trapped other Fairlies, and proved his obsession is justified – all leading to a tremendous climax.

This is not Indiana Jones, Dirk Pitt, pulp-style adventure. This is the real deal, the high adventure genre at its best – pitting a man and his obsession against all the forces of nature. Great stuff . . .


Bill Crider said...

Haven't read this one, but I like Jenkins' work a lot.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It sounds like great stuff!

Emmy said...

This was the book that did it for me. Searching for the Waratah and the Viscount. I have met the author at his home in Waterkloof Pretoria many years ago. Emlyn Brown-Cape Town

Emmy said...

This was the book that inspired me to search for the Waratah for 25 years. I have met with the author many years ago and now write my own book on the Waratah. Emlyn Brown