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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  1,698 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Reissue of the gripping tale of sabotage at sea, from the acclaimed master of action and suspense.

In the heart of the Aegean Sea, a luxury yacht is on fire and sinking fast. Minutes later, a four-engined jet with a fire in its nose-cone crashes into the sea.

Is there a sinister connection between these two tragedies? And is it an accident that the Ariadne, a NATO spy ship,
Paperback, 220 pages
Published 1987 by Fontana (first published December 1986)
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,698 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Roger Royer
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, gift, thriller
I registered a book at!

Though outdated and full of references that make me feel like a very old man, I enjoyed reading this rather fast paced novel. Reminiscent of "The Hunt for Red October" and novels like those this made me think of something I had never considered before, a nuclear mine for the sea ways.

I will say that I am glad that the book takes place where and when it does because now I can only imagine how much worse it could
Dec 01, 2010 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book, considering it was the last book he wrote before he passed away the following year, and chronologically it was right after my favorite book as a kid San Andreas, written by himself. Alas--I was disappointed. The story itself was rock solid and a page turner, yet somehow he wrote dialogue that was so dated and repetitive it was hard to slog through. This book took forever for me to read because yet again, no first names were used, only ranks usually, so hard to ...more
Edmond Gagnon
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it
I've seen the movies, Guns of Navarone and Where Eagles Dare, that were based on Alistar MacLean's books, but never actually read one.
His subject material is well researched and the story is good, but I felt the dialogue was overloaded with supposition and conjecture.
Overall it was a good read.
MacLean's last book and perhaps his most boring. You won't miss anything if you give this book a pass.

If you want to read Maclean, there are dozens of his better books out there.
It has been well over twenty years since I last read this novel. I read it on a whim, and enjoyed the reading. It had a decent plot; the basic plot is one that the author [and many others like him] has recycled over and over and over. It moved at a decent pace, I guess. It had a lot of 'talking' and not a lot of 'doing' [action] in it. The character development is so-so, I guess. Characters are introduced, but there are so many characters that there is not much room for any kind of development. ...more
Robert Jenkins
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: alistair-maclean
Over the past couple of years I've read all of Alistair MacLean's books in chronological order ( I'd previously read most of them back in the 1980's). So it was with a bit of wistfulness that I took up this one, the last novel he wrote before passing away in 1987. It's well known among MacLean readers that his last few books didn't really compare to his earlier works. I was hoping this would be an exception. And it does have a pretty decent beginning with a simultaneous plane crash and yacht sin ...more
Benjamin Thomas
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
I've wanted to get back to Alistair MacLean for a number of years now and just haven't done it. Admittedly, this particular MacLean novel may not have been the best place to start. Reportedly, it is the last novel he wrote and was published just a year before his death.

"Santorini" is the name of a small island off the coast of Greece in the Aegean Sea. The plot seems a little backward for what one would expect from a mystery/thriller. By that I mean, we pretty much know what is going on and who
John Pringle
Apr 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I seem to have been reading a lot of Alistair MacLean novels recently. Every time I come to the end of one of his books, I immediately want to start another. In the case of Santorini, MacLean’s last novel, I liked the premise and the pacing was good, but there weren’t many twists and turns or big moments and the ending was slightly anti-climactic. Like some of his other books, I had a hard time differentiating the characters. This novel, in particular, relies heavily on dialogue and, frankly, al ...more
Neil Fulwood
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Having read ‘Night Without End’ and ‘Ice Station Zebra’ back to back and thoroughly enjoyed both, I figured I’d tackle ‘Santorini’. And, folks, it almost broke me. Set aboard a British naval vessel in the Aegean, and weaving a needlessly labyrinthine plot involving four different ships, nuclear weapons, terrorism, financial chicanery and international politics, it ought to be a rip-roaring thriller of the highest order. Except that MacLean delivers every set-piece, every narrative development an ...more
Christopher Taylor
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
This is MacLean's second to last novel, written late in his career. MacLean really should be rediscovered, as he wrote an amazing array of political thrillers of which several made it to movies (Guns of Navarone and Ice Station Zebra for example). If you like Tom Clancy type books, you'll love MacLean.

Santorini is a tale of nuclear weapons, espionage, terrorism, and a somewhat Bondian villain involving the British Navy. I found this less effective than previous books by MacLean because he seems
Wade Grassman
Apr 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: espionage
Ever since I gave up reading “children’s books” (some time in the early 1970’s) I’ve been a huge fan of Alistair MacLean. Sadly, this, his last novel, is not his best work. Santorini is a good book, but it fails to live up to MacLean’s, admittedly high, standards.
One the salient features of a MacLean novel is that you really never know who is who and what side they are on, in this book, that doesn’t happen.

Not holding it up to MacLean’s other works the book is very entertaining. It would be def
Kevin Ettery
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Santorini was ok, but I got the distinct impression that someone else had written it, as the style was so different.
In the normal MacLean book you start with a mystery, and the hero of the book progresses through gaining the odd fact or clue here and there. The suspense is maintained until, at the end, all the various clues come together and the reader realises "Oh yeah, thats who the bad guys are!".
In Santorini there is an initial mystery, but there is no opportunity for suspense to really buil
May 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I recall reading a lot of MacLean's books as a teenager. He has the typical thriller style of highly effective military types, a well oiled machine of slightly quirky super men that can defeat anything they come across.

Santorini is no different. Its a little dry towards the end, with a gizmo solving the small difficulty the team gets into at the end. And the setting seems hardly used... there's little about the island itself, except a quick throwaway line about a cliff road to a port.

But, its ti
Jeff Crosby
Santorini is Alistair MacLean's final novel. It is not particularly original. Much of the plot is also predictable. It has elements that resemble The Back Shrike and Golden Rendezvous. It also has the terrorist elements of many of his later books. As usual, the characters are one dimensional.

I elected to re-read Santorini because I remembered almost nothing. It is actually a better novel than I remember. Not brilliant, but not his worst story.
Fredrick Danysh
Jun 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
A luxury yacht sinks in the Mediterranian at the same time a high flying airplanes crashes near the sight with a load of nuclear weapons. One of the weapons becomes armed over an underseas volcano. Commander Talbot of the British spy ship, HMS Ariadne, must determine if the yacht's survivors are responsible while trying to disarm and recover the weapons before the bomb explodes. ...more
Brian Turner
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: action
A disappointing effort from Mr MacLean, consisting mostly of dialogue.
A plane crashes near the spy ship Ariadne, at the same time as they receive a distress call from a yacht.
There then follows a whole bunch of talking, second guesses (all of which seem to be right) and a rather lacklustre finish.
Uday Saripalli
Aug 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
The worst story from my all time favorite story teller. The story never takes off, the nail biting suspense, so much a hallmark of Alistair Maclean novels, is totally missing. A bland and totally predictable storyline. I suppose the strain of writing the 28 novels before Santorini finally caught up with Mr. Maclean!
Aug 02, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I love Alistair MacLean books, but this one just didn't grab me. Got lost in the pile of other books to read. I think this is one of his later ones, and it was full of too-clever dialogue and not much action. ...more
May 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
MacLean produces another fantastic thriller. This naval adventure makes you hold your breath with a potential to blow up half the world. But the indomitable heroes leave everything to the last minute and eventually save the day.
Greer Andjanetta
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
An excellent story, well written with MacLean's typical crisp style with good English and vocabulary and no wasted words of philosophy or dogma. A quality of writing not seen too often these days, reminiscent of Nevil Shute or Hammond Innes. Very enjoyable read! ...more
Sudheer Madhava
Oct 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Re-reading this book after a long long time. Predictably boring adventure on the seas, full of classic English stereotypical sailor characters and mediterranean baddies. Not in the same class as either HMS Ulysses or even Fear Is The Key. Strictly for highschool anglophiles.
Dec 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
If this is your first Alistair MaClean book, don't read it, rather read a different one. If you like Him as an author, don't read it at all. I was very disappointed, I couldn't believe that it was the same author that wrote HMS Ulysses, Where Eagles Dare, etc, ...more
Alistaire King
Sep 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Unfortunately , as this was Alistair MacLeans' last book, it is arguably his weakest. The elements are all there but somehow they just don't gel. Very little in the way of action and the end carries little impact. ...more
Lenny Husen
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. Rounding down because there is nothing to say to recommend this book.
Wasn't terrible, just boring. Too many characters. Slow plot. I love MacLean and was
glad to finally finish this book.
Oct 08, 2010 rated it liked it
You have to be a die hard fan of Alistair's books to have the patience to read this book of his. Its very discriptive and the story moves slowly but the time you invested finally pays off!! ...more
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
As always Alistair MacLean provides an exciting adventure with really bad bad guys and quick thinking fast acting good guys. I do love his stories.
Gary Stephenson
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Not one of his best, little "Action" ...more
May 20, 2015 rated it liked it
A simple storyline and not very gripping as it claims to be.
The ending was quite un expectable and interesting.
Thomas Strömquist
MacLeans last book is not a memorable one, in fact I'd recommend most of what he wrote before this one. Very little happens and I do think it would have needed another round of editing. ...more
David Cozens
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Royal Navy frigate rescues survivors from a sinking yacht near the Greek island of Thera. Tense thriller told with a touch of humour involving an atomic mine and a plane load of hydrogen bombs.
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Alistair Stuart MacLean (Scottish Gaelic: Alasdair MacGill-Eain), the son of a Scots Minister, was brought up in the Scottish Highlands. In 1941, at the age of eighteen, he joined the Royal Navy; two and a half years spent aboard a cruiser were to give him the background for HMS Ulysses, his first novel, the outstanding documentary novel on the war at sea. After the war he gained an English Honour ...more

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