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3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  13,183 Ratings  ·  507 Reviews
For centuries, treasure hunters have sought the lost horde of the notorious English pirate, Edward Ockham. Clues led to the mysterious water pit on Ragged Island, Maine--but a curse left behind by the long-dead pirate still seems to be working. Every expedition has failed--with the treasure seekers dying in gruesome fashion. Now, however, a new expedition has been mounted ...more
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published (first published July 1998)
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Community Reviews

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May 12, 2014 StoryTellerShannon rated it it was amazing
Tale focuses on a group of treasure hunters who are trying to find the buried treasure of a nefarious pirate. It was likely inspired by the Oak Island Money Pit up near Nova Scotia where Captain Kidd or perhaps Blackbeard buried their treasure hoard. Anyway, this treasure hoard is estimated at 2 billion dollars in the late 1990s and the choice item is St. Michael's Sword which is said to kill any mortal who looks upon it. Nobody really knows what St. Michael's Sword is when the novel begins.

Critter Reyome
Aug 14, 2016 Critter Reyome rated it it was amazing
Ever hear of the Oak Island mystery? If you haven't, you should look it up. It's a fascinating (and TRUE!) story of buried treasure…or at least a buried SOMETHING, on an island off the coast of Nova Scotia. As I have many times, Preston and Child have taken a more-or-less historic event and built a tale around it, and a fascinating one at that. In fact, outside of the Pendergast books, this is probably my favorite book by P & C. It's gripping right clear through and holds up through repeated ...more
Jan 16, 2015 Cheryl rated it it was ok
This book is not for me. Abandoning it, after half way mark. Sluggish plot pacing. I feel like I'm still waiting for something interesting to happen and the book is half over. Alot of talk about water pumps, pipes, engineering - not my thing. The characters seem a bit flat, too. It felt like the authors were just phoning it in, to meet a publishing requirement. I've read a number of books by these authors, particularly the Pendergast series, and really liked them. I don't know what happened with ...more
Aug 07, 2012 Johnny rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Anyone familiar with the works of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child will understand the basic set-up of Riptide. There is some sort of historical “macguffin” wrapped together with an arcane, esoteric mystery. Modern investigators are trying to get at the former and just enough strange events take place to make one believe that something supernatural is happening. In this case, computer networks that are supposed to be fully synchronized degrade without explanation and expensive scientific instru ...more
Mike Salzman
Jan 24, 2008 Mike Salzman rated it really liked it
When I was a kid, I was always really interested in ghost stories and strange tales. Like the Mary Celeste that was found drifting completely empty; no signs of struggle, food left on the plates, no survivors ever found. Or the story of the Japanese soldier who refused to believe WWII had ended and spent 20+ years living in the jungle until his original commanding officer personally came to tell him to come home. This book takes from another famous story I read about when I was young; the water ...more
Jeremy Bates
Apr 19, 2012 Jeremy Bates rated it really liked it
For centuries, treasure hunters have sought the lost horde of the notorious English pirate, Edward Ockham. Clues led to the mysterious water pit on Ragged Island, Maine--but a curse left behind by the long-dead pirate still seems to be working. Every expedition has failed--with the treasure seekers dying in gruesome fashion. Now, however, a new expedition has been mounted with state-of-the-art computer technology and backed by millions of dollars. It will all be worth it if the treasure is found ...more
La isla Ragged tiene fama desde hace siglos de estar maldita. Según cuenta la leyenda, el pirata Ockham enterró su fabuloso tesoro en esta isla de las costas de Maine. Durante siglos, los intentos por hacerse con dicho tesoro, así como con la extraordinaria espada de San Miguel, de valor incalculable, han fracasado, saldándose en muchos casos con víctimas. El protagonista de la novela es el doctor Malin Hatch, heredero de la isla Ragged. La historia de sus familia con la isla es terrible, y llev ...more
Nov 01, 2011 Stephanie rated it it was ok
This book had so much potential! The storyline had really compelling personal stories, opportunities for suspense and intrigue, and creativity along the lines of Michael Crieghton or Dan Brown. And the authors completely botched it!! In the first place, the title is entirely irrelevant to the book. They had multitudinous opportunities to make the reader connect with the characters and they completely neglected this vital point. The complex characters became completely cliched. What could have be ...more
Horace Derwent
Jun 01, 2016 Horace Derwent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the two great minds think wonderful, i really enjoyed this standalone of theirs, but I don't like the ending, hasty
Bob Milne
I can't remember the last time a book frustrated me so often, and so deeply, yet still managed to be so much fun. If only Preston and Child could have devoted the same amount of attention to character building as to treasure hiding, this could have been a stellar read. What frustrates me is that I know they can do it. Agent Pendergast is one of the greatest characters being written today, and they usually manage to surround him with a solid cast of strong, intelligent, well-rounded characters. H ...more
Sep 27, 2012 Eric rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone that believes pirate legends are real
A tale of lost pirate treasure in the vein of films such as Indiana Jones and National Treasure. While it started a bit slow, building the history of the water pit and the tragedy that struck all that tried to uncover its treasure, including Malin Hatch's family, it came to a rip-roaring crescendo -- action, adventure, romance, tempests, pirate treasure, double crosses -- it had it all. It also had a great line of dialogue in the closing chapter, which I am not spoiling anything by revealing wit ...more
Jul 19, 2012 Dagny rated it really liked it
Shelves: preston-child
Twenty-five years ago Malin Hatch and his elder brother took a small boat to the family owned Ragged Island. This cursed island, supposed cache of the buried treasure of pirate Red Ned Ockham, was purchased by Malin's grandfather who lost his entire family fortune and his life seeking the pirate's plunder. Malin's brother disappeared during the trip. Now, a commercial treasure hunting company has persuaded Malin to allow them to excavate in return for half the treasure and the possibility of dis ...more
John Beta
Aug 01, 2016 John Beta rated it it was ok
I abandoned ship a few times on this one, but reluctantly climbed back aboard. About 400 pages of how to retrieve a few billion in treasure from Ragged Island (loosely based on the Oak Island events), finally followed by some mild, predictable action in the end. Not sure why I stuck with it. It was like being caught in a riptide, hoping to be saved. Ha!
Heather Thurmeier
Jul 17, 2013 Heather Thurmeier rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly entertaining on every level! I couldn't wait to dig into this one once I read the back cover. While this story was fictional, it was based off a real water pit and now I feel compelled to learn about the real deal. Any reader who enjoys his other books is bound to enjoy this one too.
It's alright. In fact, it starts quite strong, and while I know a Preston/Child book will have some sort of woo woo plot twist, there's only the barest hints of such until over 2/3rd of the way through. This made me wish that they'd just written it as a straight up adventure with a reasonable resolution. Ah, well.

Things that were disappointing included the odd handling of the B (c?) plot around Marlin's high school sweetheart. That whole piece could be removed and not harm the rest of the plot.
Apr 09, 2015 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hmm, this is my third Preston/Child book. Great, as usual, but I'm becoming sensitized to the authors' overall formulaic storylines. I won't spoil it here--those who've read Riptide, Mount Dragon, and The Ice Limit know the formula.

That said, this was a nice treasure-hunt tale. Loaded with historical and scientific research, the book does a decent job of weaving a somewhat eclectic set of characters together into a small town setting, where here comes another greedy avaricious bunch who think th
Benjamin Thomas
I think if this had been the first book I had read by Preston/Child I would have probably rated it a bit higher. It's a stand-alone novel (i.e. not part of their Pendergast series) and pretty good tale of modern day treasure hunting, based on knowledge of huge (as in over $2 Billion worth) hidden pirate booty. Not only are we talking about gold, jewels, etc but also a fabled sword of St Michael, said to cause death to any who look upon it.

Of course, said treasure is not so easy to collect, espec
Dec 18, 2012 Anand rated it liked it
My second novel from the Preston/Child stable.

This was an enjoyable read, though seems to be in the same mould as the "formula" of Preston & Child books. Another reviewer had mentioned in one of his reviews (I am afraid I cannot locate that specific review!) that the "formula" is to make something highly coveted (say, a treasure, or alien technology), and then introduce a character who is obsessed with finding/obtaining that thing, and have a protagonist who gets involved in this process, an
Aug 07, 2012 wally rated it liked it
Shelves: preston-child
2nd story from preston/child...i think i saw some program on television to-do w/a part of this story...the water pit...aaargh...
onward and upward

finished, 9 aug 12, thursday evening, 9:21 p.m. e.s.t.

a fun entertaining read.

early on, when malin's brother is killed--this comes in the first pages--i thought that scene wasn't written as well as possible...something about it seemed...hokey...but the story moved on from there, a lot of mystery, action, the ole captain a kind of modern ahab, looking fo
Apr 10, 2014 Angie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: action adventure and mystery fans
Recommended to Angie by: Steven
This was great, pirates, treasure and booby traps. It is set on a small island in Maine and about a treasure hunt for a pirate of legends loot. A value of two billion dollar s is a lot of incentive but this is no simple dig. The book has a bit of everything in it. The history of the region and the pirates themselves is fascinating. The characters were all interesting and I really cared about what happens to them and the mystery of how the mechanics of the water pit itself kept you guessing.

Matt Wells
Jul 10, 2014 Matt Wells rated it it was amazing
This book was simply brilliant storytelling. An incredibly engaging plot that grabbed me right from the beginning. Somewhat reminiscent of "The Ice Limit", but thrown into a blender with pirate stories, archangels stories, meteor stories, and more. Talk about an inventive concoction!

Preston and Child do what they do best in this one, putting together a story full of plot turns, intriguing characters, and big surprises. I'm always surprised at the unpredictability in their tales. I wracked my br
Rebecca (agirlirlblog, bekkilyn)
This book involved a fog-shrouded island off the coast of Maine (no, not Far Harbor!) and said to contain both a pirate's treasure and a terrible curse. For generations, hunters of this treasure have died, gone missing, or went bankrupt in multiple attempts to unearth this treasure, and the main character of this book, Dr. Malin Hatch, is drawn into the latest expedition.

Which will win out this time? Will the latest technological and scientific advances finally be able to defeat the curse once a
Matthew Fake
Apr 27, 2014 Matthew Fake rated it really liked it
First let me say, this is a fun book. It may never be taught at Harvard, but I’m pretty sure that the authors were not going for that anyway. It is set in Maine, which was great for me as a Mainer, growing up dreaming of finding lost treasure on one of the many islands here. It was nice to see the authors not go overboard with the characters, as so many writers tend to do by trying to use the supposed “Downeaster” accent in the dialog, but in fact it is so generic at time, it would be hard to te ...more
Feb 02, 2014 Thelma rated it it was ok
I've had this book so long on my library list I had forgotten about it. When it finally came up and I checked it out, I was surprised to find the island, setting and indeed the treasure, is sort of fashioned after the real life Oak Island (I had just started watching the tv show about it). I like nautical stories and what's not to like about pirate treasure? For me the book just missed the mark, written predictably and felt like an audition for a movie. I could actually see the movie in my mind ...more
Dec 30, 2008 David rated it liked it
Shelves: completed
Cursed Pirate Treasure, computer glitches, suspicious illnesses,and a cavern full of traps all combine in an exciting yarn carefully plotted and skillfully crafted to keep the reader turning page after page.

I find Preston and Child to be the type of team who write books that seem to tip their hats to some of Michael Critchton's best novels. Clever ideas for frightening plots with clever scientific foundation.

Interesting characters with an interesting background, a very interesting setting, and
Ежко Таралежко
Oct 18, 2015 Ежко Таралежко rated it really liked it
Като цяло предпочитам серията за Пендъргаст от трилърите на Дъглас Престън и Линкълн Чайлд - сещате се, приключенски трилъри с доста научни елементи и винаги щипка я фантастика, я чисто фентъзи, но и тази не е лоша. Главната разлика всъщност е почти тоталната липса на фантастичен елемент, иначе всичко друго си е на мястото - загадъчно пиратско съкровище, вековни тайни, съвременна технология, напрежение и насилие. Въпреки че книжката далеч не е шедьовър, определено запълва приятно един неделен сл ...more
Travis of NNY
Oct 29, 2013 Travis of NNY rated it it was amazing
Shelves: action, aaa13, adventure
My first non Pendergast selection from Lincoln/Child and to say I was not disappointed would be an understatement. This book had all it needed. A solid historical background explaining the origin and make up of said treasure. The exciting and suspenseful hunt for the treasure. The human side of both good and evil stemming from projected treasure wealth. Everything tied together in a solid plot for the archaeological thriller and treasure hunting reader is looking for
Jun 02, 2015 Shilpa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I loved:
>The pace. I was pawing at my phone, flipping pages, skipping lines, trying to find out what happens next.

What I didn't:
>Dr. Hatch. The multi-disciplinary, nautical, artistic, intellectual owner of Ragged Island. Too many 'purrfect' creds for my liking.
>Even I, the most blind of mystery readers, guessed most of the plot points.
>The writing. The whiplash style was good for the pace I guess but I expected a more fleshed-out version after the promising prologue.
Apr 25, 2015 Chuck rated it really liked it
This is a story about an attempt to recover a buried treasure on an island off the coast of Maine left there by a notorious pirate in 1695. Skip to the present day and the owner of said island is approached by a very persuasive treasure hunter and they make a deal to make a fresh effort to recover the pirate's loot. This is a very entertaining yarn. I have not read these gentlemen before but I will return to them soon.
Jul 17, 2013 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was an entertaining, thrilling sea adventure. Ancient pirate lore, an old island curse and modern day treasure hunters with all the latest technology. I haven't read a bad Preston & Child tale yet.
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Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1956, and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley. Following a distinguished career at a private nursery school--he was almost immediately expelled--he attended public schools and the Cambridge School of Weston. Notable events in his early life included the loss of a fingertip at the age of three to a bicycle; the loss of his two fr ...more
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