By Mark Robson
Published by Simon & Schuster
ISBN 978 1 84738 978 7
It's surprising that the Bermuda Triangle has not been used in fiction more often. The area in the Atlantic Ocean where ships and aircraft have vanished seems to be the perfect setting for an adventure tale or two. Mark Robson's new caper corrects this oversight.
Robson's take on the Bermuda Triangle is a good-old teenage adventure novel, with a fist full of mystery and sci-fi thrown in.
As all mystery-adventures should, The Devil's Triangle begins slowly and builds to a terrific climax. Robson is a writer who knows how to develop character and suspense. The three teenagers caught up in the Devil's Triangle are believable and well realised.
Sam Cutler, 14, his twin brother Niamh, father Matt and best friend Callum fly from Britain to Florida for a long summer holiday. The three Cutlers travel to Florida every year, and have done so since the twins' mother, a marine biologist, disappeared there nine years ago. Sam and Niamh have only a distant memory of their mother, so the annual trip is mainly a holiday for them.
But Matt Cutler is obsessed with the idea that his wife was a victim of some mysterious force in the Bermuda Triangle. The authorities have closed the case on Mrs Cutler, but Matt is determined to find the truth about what happened to her. He takes his children to Florida each year, and then leaves them mostly to their own devices as he searches the ocean in his boat.
This year, the Cutler twins are more grown-up and are frustrated with their father's obsession. They are annoyed that they are left to hang round the pool of their villa.
Sam decides to do something about it this trip. Against his father's orders to stay put, Sam persuades Callum to go deep-sea fishing with him in the ocean. The boys take the motorboat and head out to sea, ignoring Niamh's warnings and protests.
Of course, things start to go very wrong. Astute readers will already know that something is going to happen to two teenage boys alone on the edge of the Bermuda Triangle in a small motorboat. It is the Bermuda Triangle, after all.
Suddenly, the sea begins to churn, and a weird storm blows up out of nowhere. And it is in scenes like this that Robson shows what a great cinematic writer he is. His brilliant descriptive writing puts the reader right in the boat with the two boys. Sea-sick pills may be needed!
Sam and Callum are blown into a part of the Bermuda Triangle that acts as a portal into another world. They find themselves marooned in a terrifying new land with danger around every corner. Will they survive and will they ever find their way back home?
The Devil's Triangle is a fast-paced adventure ride that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The story is the thing here, and Robson creates a fascinating parallel world as well as a realistic lead-in and pre-story.
John Millen can be contacted at MillenBookshelf@aol.com