Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Caribbean Caper

The Penetrator takes on Bahamian pirates in his 16th Pinnacle adventure, DEEPSEA SHOOTOUT, written by Chet Cunningham and published in 1976.

Mark Hardin, posing as a journalist named Phil Burritt, goes to Nassau to investigate a series of high-sea robberies committed by four black (literally) pirates who rob wealthy tourists and then either sink or steal their boats. The leader of the pirates, Kama, is not just a beautiful woman who controls her men through the use of her tight bod, but also a voodoo priestess!

While the Penetrator searches for the pirates and tries to stay a step ahead of a dirty Nassau cop, he also teams up with archeologist Jamison Hutch and his girlfriend Beth Anne to find a Spanish galleon that sunk in the Caribbean in 1641 carrying an alleged treasure worth millions.

DEEPSEA SHOOTOUT has way more plot than it needed, and Cunningham has trouble juggling them equally. He seems to lose interest in the piracy story--which appeared to be the main throughline when the book opened--and junks it relatively quickly to introduce a new main villain in the final chapters, an obese treasure hunter named Brigantine.

As long as Cunningham keeps the action coming, DEEPSEA SHOOTOUT is just fine. The story is jumbled, but at least the characters are interesting, and the many water-based fight scenes are entertaining. The climax takes place in a weird underground cave and packs a good punch.

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