On the jacket, it states that “Pirate Latitudes was discovered as a complete manuscript in his files after his death in 2008.” You can tell that this book was never completed as to Michael Crichton’s high standards. Pirate Latitudes has an unpolished feeling and if it did not say his name on the book, I would never have taken it for a Michael Crichton novel.
It is a swashbuckling story set in the Caribbean in 1665 where Spain ruled supreme. Pirating is a dangerous business however; privateering is covertly authorized by the English Crown. Captain Hunter is like an R-rated Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. There is also his evil, sadistic nemesis, the Spaniard, Cazalla whom he engages in a battle royale.
The story centers on the British trying to overtake the heavily fortified Spanish port of Matanceros where it is rumoured to have a fortune in gold hidden in the galleon of a recently arrived treasure ship. There is a lot of action and talk of action and later on has a multitude of things like hurricanes, giant sea monsters and cannibals.
My favourite character was Anne Sharpe however, we seem to lose track of her with all of the swashbuckling activities which is unfortunate as she is the best thought out character in the book and really had potential to be an integral part of the story.
If you are really in the mood to read a good Michael Crichton novel, I would recommend any of his other works as I am not sure he would have been pleased that this seemingly unfinished work has seen the light of day. It is good for an easy pirate adventure read as long as you read it as such and not as a classic Michael Crichton novel.
Rating 2.5 out of 5