Title: Palmyra, Isle of Death
Author: Karl Boyd
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Stephen Phillips
ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0557256267
The following is historical fact as recorded in the Naval Achieves: "In 1816, a pirate ship named "Esperanza," reportedly filled with stolen Inca gold, engaged in a horrendous battle with another unknown pirate ship. The Esperanza sank its opponent, but soon foundered off the shores of Palmyra. But, before the ship sank, the crew removed the treasure and hid it somewhere on the atoll. To date, the treasure has never been recovered."
In Karl Boyd's novel, Palmyra, Isle of Death, two modern day treasure hunters, Bill "Skeeter" Whitaker and Clete Palmer discover the facts listed above and set off to see if they can find and recover the treasure; and return it to the Hawaiian authorities for historical purposes and any monetary reward offered. Along the way, they meet up and join forces with two other modern day pirates, Carter Jennings and his buddy, Jimmy Henderson, who are also after the treasure, but for their own greedy reasons.
Karl Boyd uses his superb writing ability to blend actual fact with his embellished ideas of what happened aboard the Esperanza and its opponent during the battle, the aftermath, shipwreck on Palmyra, three years of deprivation that followed and the final desperate attempt for the few survivors to reach safety.
As this rollicking tale weaves its way between the beautiful isles of Hawaii and the far off isolated atoll of Palmyra, the reader encounters ghosts of the past, modern day murder, lies, greed, betrayal, unrequited love and revenge.
Even after the conclusion of a well told tale, readers will wonder if Karl Boyd's assumptions of where the treasure still resides is pure fiction, or could it be more historical fact waiting to be discovered? But, in reality, only Palmyra, the Isle of Death knows for sure.