Grave Descend, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Diver James McGregor is used to exploring sunken ships.

But there's something strange about the wreck of the Grave Descend.

No one aboard tells quite the same story about what happened.

Then there's the mysterious cargo they were carrying...In one of the most beautiful places on Earth, a sinister plot is about to unfold. And if McGregor's not careful, he may find himself in over his head.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9781783291243



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Hard Case Crime is reissuing several early Michael Crichton novels written under the pseudonym John Lange. (Well, they have already reissued them once, but now they're doing it again with Crichton's name attached). This one was apparently nominated for an Edgar Award.This one is set in Jamaica. Diver James McGregor is approached for a salvage operation, but his suspicions are aroused because none of the details make any sense. What follows is a complicated game of misdirection. (I half suspect the only reason he wrote the novel was to make use of various Samuel Johnson quotes.)It's fine as a crime/suspense novel for its time. It's certainly better written than much of Crichton's later novels, but at the same time it makes you appreciate the work of a master like Elmore Leonard or Richard Stark/Donald Westlake. There is some decent island flavor, which I think Crichton could've expanded on, or else used McGregor and Jamaica in future books. Not bad as a subway read.

Review by

James McGregor is a diver. He is the best at what he does. This is why when a multimillon dollar ship sinks, James is the go to man. The mission is simple...dive down to the site of the sunken ship and figure out why it sunk. However nothing is as simple as it seems at first glance. What is the ship owner hiding?James will have to hope that he gets out alive and not be turned into shark bait. I flew through this book. It reminded me of the old, classic mystery stories that I grew up reading that made me fall in love with this genre. While the mystery is there, there are no real surprises to the storyline. However for me it was not so much about the story or who the famous author was but it was the characters. Instantly I connected with James. He is a quick thinker. He is like MacGyver. Also I have to take a moment to comment on the book cover. I don't usually talk about book covers as they are not really what is important to me when it comes to choosing a book. It is all about the content. However the artwork for this book is like a piece of art. Looking at it online does not do it justice. You have to pick up a copy of this book to see it up close and personal. Grave Descend is a deep sea adventure of a read.

Review by

This is a short, fast-moving, pulpy page-turner, set in Jamaica, where the world-weary Jim McGregor is living the good life and earning a living as a diver. When he's hired by Arthur Wayne, a marine insurance rep, to make an exploratory dive onto the wreck of the Grave Descend, which sunk the previous day in mysterious circumstances, McGregor suddenly finds himself thrust into a murderous tale of Nazi loot, mob diamonds and beautiful, deadly women. "Grave Descend" is a hugely enjoyable read that moves along at a cracking pace. The plot is well-constructed and logical and is spiced up with decent action set-pieces before arriving at a nice wee twist at the end. Crichton keeps the focus tightly on Jim McGregor and avoids any extraneous plotlines or any form of narrative meanderings. So fast and efficient is the storytelling, however, there is little time to flesh out the personality of McGregor and any of the other characters, leaving him feeling slightly hollow as a character. There is none of the research heavy exposition that became the trademark of Crichton's later blockbuster techno-thrillers and the story is all the better for that. "Grave Descend" is a very short novel at only 150 pages, but they are 150 completely irresistible pages that turn at a cracking and propulsive pace. It is a beautifully compelling slice of pure pulp mystery adventure.

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