Summary and book reviews of Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson

Pirate Hunters

Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship

by Robert Kurson

Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson
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    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2015, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2016, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
James Broderick

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About this Book

Book Summary

Fast-paced and filled with suspense, fascinating characters, history, and adventure, Pirate Hunters is an unputdownable story that goes deep to discover truths and souls long believed lost.

Finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea. But two men - John Chatterton and John Mattera - are willing to risk everything to find the Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister. At large during the Golden Age of Piracy in the seventeenth century, Bannister's exploits would have been more notorious than Blackbeard's, more daring than Kidd's, but his story, and his ship, have been lost to time.

If Chatterton and Mattera succeed, they will make history - it will be just the second time ever that a pirate ship has been discovered and positively identified. Soon, however, they realize that cutting-edge technology and a willingness to lose everything aren't enough to track down Bannister's ship. They must travel the globe in search of historic documents and accounts of the great pirate's exploits, face down dangerous rivals, battle the tides of nations and governments and experts. But it's only when they learn to think and act like pirates - like Bannister - that they become able to go where no pirate hunters have gone before.

Fast-paced and filled with suspense, fascinating characters, history, and adventure, Pirate Hunters is an unputdownable story that goes deep to discover truths and souls long believed lost.

Chatterton and Mattera didn't have two minutes to spare in advance of their quest for the San Bartolomé. They'd vowed never to let anything put them off track. But there was an urgency in Bowden's voice they hadn't heard in the year since they'd met him, and Miami was just a two-hour flight from Santo Domingo; they could be there and back the same day. If nothing else, Bowden told great stories, and in treasure hunting, stories were the next best thing to gold. So, one morning in early 2008, they packed day bags and booked tickets, and went on their way. The treasure on board the San Bartolomé had been lost for four hundred years. It could wait another few hours for them to come find it.

In Miami, they rented a car and set out for Bowden's house. He wasn't like any other treasure hunter they'd met. He seemed to work in the shadows, shunning publicity and almost never teaming up with others. He didn't boast or issue bullshit claims. And he used ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Questions of exactness aside, Pirate Hunters is fascinating and suspenseful, a breathless story of shadowy figures and global intrigue, set against the backdrop of hostile oceans and an even more hostile rogues' gallery of ruthless, bloodthirsty pirates. I'd be surprised if the book doesn't strike a chord with most readers – and even more surprised if someone somewhere wasn't already at work turning it into a screenplay. As a potential cinematic blockbuster, Pirate Hunters seems like found treasure.   (Reviewed by James Broderick).

Full Review (869 words).

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Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

An enjoyable read, especially if you've got a thing for pirates.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Kurson's own enthusiasm, combined with his copious research and an eye for detail, makes for one of the most mind-blowing pirate stories of recent memory, one that even the staunchest landlubber will have a hard time putting down.

Library Journal

Starred Review. Anyone with a sense of adventure and a love of history will enjoy this book. Highly recommended to readers who delight in adventure, suspense, and the thrill of discovering history at their fingertips.

Author Blurb Lee Child
A great thriller full of tough guys and long odds... and: It's all true.

Author Blurb Michael Connelly
Action and adventure on land and sea - you can't ask for more. But Robert Kurson raises the ante in Pirate Hunters with an array of mystery and a fleet of colorful characters spanning four centuries. This is a great summer read!

Author Blurb Douglas Preston
Pirate Hunters is a fantastic book, an utterly engrossing and satisfying read.

Author Blurb Daniel James Brown
A terrific read. I was pulled in from page one. Kurson brings us face to face with some of the most swashbuckling pirates ever to sail the Caribbean, even as he takes us underwater on a high-tech quest to discover the relics they left behind.

Author Blurb Brad Meltzer
There's nothing in the world like buried treasure - and people hungry and obsessed enough to risk their lives for it. Pirate Hunters isn't just a good story - it's a true one.

Author Blurb Sen. John McCain
Robert Kurson will keep you on the edge of your seat in this high-stakes journey around the globe that ultimately teaches these explorers about much more than an old ship.

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Beyond the Book

Admiralty Law

Pirate Hunters, Robert Kurson's real-life tale recounts the struggle to locate and recover sunken treasure. The obstacles are numerous: little or no historical documentation, inaccurate maps, bad weather, and rival scavengers. Additionally, as the book makes clear, a formidable challenge faced by both amateur and professional salvagers of underwater shipwrecks is the sometimes daunting task of navigating the murky legal waters of aquatic salvage. It's not always clear who – if anyone – owns a shipwreck and the rights to its contents, and even when ownership is clear it's not always obvious who has the right to attempt to salvage it – despite a considerable body of law on these matters dating back centuries.

"Salvage and...

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