The Nautical Chart

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9780151005345: The Nautical Chart

Coy is a suspended sailor with time on his hands, a mariner without a ship. While attending a maritime auction in Barcelona, he meets a beautiful woman who immediately captures his imagination. Tánger Soto, who works for the Naval Museum in Madrid, is obsessed with the Dei Gloria, a Jesuit ship sunk by pirates in the seventeenth century, and now-she hopes-resting on the bottom of the sea off the southern coast of Spain. Tánger uses her considerable manipulative skills with men and her expertise with documents, atlases, and nautical maps to chart the search for lost treasure. Coy is quickly drawn into the search, and before long finds himself falling in love. Along with El Piloto, the world-wise old man of the sea whose sailboat will carry this adventurous crew, they seek their fortune together. Or do they?

As these lively characters follow the course of past sailors, their own journey becomes perilous. Are there secrets dwelling in the depths of the sea? And what of the depths of the heart? This highly intelligent and meticulously plotted novel combines the richness of atmosphere we have come to expect from Pérez-Reverte with the romance and mystery of the sea found in the novels of Melville, Conrad, and O'Brian. An unforgettable adventure.

"The master of the intellectual thriller."--San Francisco Chronicle

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Review:

A treasure hunt for a Jesuit ship sunk by pirates off the coast of Spain is the plot on which Perez-Reverte's new novel turns, but a love story is the real heart of this nicely crafted, carefully told adventure. A suspended sailor happens on a maritime auction in Barcelona, where he meets the beautiful Tanger Soto, a museum curator whose winning bid buys her a 17th-century atlas that may reveal the final resting place of the Dei Gloria. Coy, the sailor, is totally smitten, so it's no surprise that he signs on to help Tanger track the sunken ship to its grave in waters he's sailed since childhood. Enlisting the aid of a diver friend, Coy and Tanger stay a few steps ahead of the crooked salvagers who've been trying to get the atlas, outmaneuvering the attempts on their lives and the efforts to keep them from the treasure. Perez-Reverte (The Fencing Master, The Club Dumas) is better at plumbing the mysteries of the human heart than those of the sea, but The Nautical Chart manages to combine history, suspense, and obsessive love in a slow-paced but ultimately engrossing read. --Jane Adams

Book Description:

Published in hardcover by Harcourt, 2001, 0-15-100534-6
Published in paperback by Harcourt, 2002, 0-15-601305-3

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