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In 1628, the Batavia, the newest ship in the Dutch East India Company's fleet set sail on its maiden voyage to Java, with its hold crammed full with gold, silver and precious stones. Also on board was a man called Jeronimus Cornelisz, a member of the extreme Protestant sect, the Mennonites, and a dangerous psychotic with it. Cornelisz orchestrated a mutiny on board, but before his plans could be carried out the boat came to grief on Houtman's Abrolhos. And there the fun and games started. The Batavia's captain, Francisco Pelsaert, having got wind of the mutiny, headed off to get help in the only open boat, leaving the survivors to fend for themselves. Which is where Cornelisz steps in; realising that if he wants to remain undiscovered he will need to first kill all the survivors who weren't part of the mutiny before taking out the rescue party on its arrival, he splits the survivors into two groups. The strongest are sent to live on a nearby atoll where Cornelisz anticipates they will starve to death. Then the killing begins. The denouement, when it comes, is too perfectly timed even for Hollywood. It may be X-rated, but this really is the sort of story you just couldn't make up.--John Crace
Heavy duty research used in the writing of this highly detailed book. The author is to be commended in leaving no stone unturned in the hunt for primary sources which lends... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I have recently been on a binge of maritime reading material and saw this reviewed (favourably) on Amazon so decided to give it a try. Read morePublished 3 months ago by L. Cobham
An absolutely fascinating story, told with an obsessive eye for research and detail (a Good Thing) but an occasional tendency to over-egg the pudding in descriptive establishing... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Rufus Yells