Janice Durante's Reviews > The Nautical Chart

The Nautical Chart by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
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Aug 21, 2012

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bookshelves: fiction, adventure

Perez-Reverte is a powerful storyteller, unraveling his story with perfect pacing, sensuous details, and a fascinating setting. His shallow portrayal of women, however, keeps me from giving this novel more effusive praise. The author's male protagonist, Coy, is clearly delineated; he's a hard-living but honest sailor without a ship. Spiritually and emotionally lost on land, Coy slips into perilous territory after he meets Tanger Soto, a cold, alluring woman with a remarkable knowledge of historical documents and nautical maps. She is guarding a secret, a well-researched hypothesis that a Jesuit ship sunk by pirates in the 17th century was carrying a cache of emeralds. The treasure, she believes, now rests on the bottom of the sea, in an area Coy knows intimately. She needs him, but, alas, not in the same way he grows to need her.
Despite the imbalance in the characterization, this is a thrilling novel to the bitter end.
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