How long has it been since you read a good, old-fashioned, swashbuckling pirate yarn? Well, neighbor, that’s too long, as they used to say on the Wolf Brand Chili commercials. What you need to do is read CAST IN DARK WATERS by Ed Gorman and Tom Piccirilli, which is a pirate yarn . . . and more.
Gorman and Piccirilli have come up with a fine protagonist in the young woman known as Crimson, a beautiful, redheaded female pirate in the Caribbean sometime in the late 17th or early 18th century. She’s hired by a tobacco planter from Virginia and the man’s wife to retrieve the couple’s daughter, who has run off with a pirate who makes his headquarters on an island that’s supposed to be cursed.
Because this is as much a horror tale as it is a pirate story, you know things aren’t going to go particularly well on this mission, and sure enough, they don’t. But there’s plenty of pulpish goodness along the way, including swordfights. You know I love me some swordfights.
Gorman and Piccirilli have done a great job on this novella, which was originally published as a limited edition hardcover. I missed out on that edition and have wanted to read it ever since, so as soon as it became available as a very affordable e-book, I grabbed a copy. It’s available at all the usual outlets, including the publisher’s website, and if you enjoy high adventure yarns with more than a touch of creepiness and some fine characters, I highly recommend CAST IN DARK WATERS.