The usual combination-
a doctor gone to seed and
a rum skipper in the South China Seas,
in accordance with the author’s predilections
a handsome tow haired young man
predictably on the run from some
funny business that sadly
he has done.
A storm arises and shakes
the bored doctor’s equanimity
to the core;
only the crafty wicked sea captain
can negotiate such raging seas.
They arrive to the transparent tranquillity
of a tiny Dutch island.
Finding lodgings and satisfactorily breakfasting
the travellers meet eccentric characters
both esoteric and exotic.
Naturally, a beautiful maiden arrives,
a stunning love scene soon ensues
involving the tow haired Australian
on the loose from his dirty deed
and the prose flows engagingly enough.
The novelist must tie up his plot.
The women behave in various unladylike ways.
The story clangs, chancy and unreal.
The body count mounts
as fictional fate mechanically reveals.
You really have to ask yourself
if this is the best use of your time.
Reading this second-rate novel
by this first-rate novelist.
Even then the ending was uncertain,
perhaps prefiguring the postmodern.