The quest for a World War II Japanese submarine in a bottomless Papuan cavern could be the opportunity Rob Nash needs … or not.
Acclaimed explorer and cave diver Rob Nash has lost his way. Since losing his wife in a controversial diving accident he’s been dumped by sponsors, shunned by friends, and has developed a secret terror of confined spaces. Grieving his wife, and blaming himself for her death, he sees no reason to carry on.
But when his ‘Uncle’ Frank Douglas offers him the chance to lead a cave diving expedition in the jungles of Papua, Nash can see some light at the end of the tunnel. It could be the opportunity Rob needs to rebuild his once glittering career.
But the expedition might not be what it seems. With the decades old Japanese submarine buried deep in a cavern, and a team hell-bent on unleashing the secret treasures it hides, Nash finds himself on a ship heading for danger. Whilst battling his own demons, he’s now with a lethal band of criminals on board, who will stop at nothing to get the gold. And Nash is fighting for his life.
Jack of all trades turned author Jake Avila’s journey to publication is in itself a great story. Cave Diver was the winner of the 2019 Adventure Writers Clive Cussler Grandmaster Award. It then went on to win the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, which led to a publishing deal. Given this background, I had high hopes for Cave Diver, but even then, it exceeded expectations.
Cave Diver is a thrilling read that really challenged my claustrophobia (something I admittedly didn’t realise I had until reading this book). The opening sequence grabs the reader and sets the tone for this story: fast, cinematic, and filled with twists and turns.
Each and every character is compelling, particularly the villains, which are anything but cliché. But the story belongs to Nash, a flawed, believable protagonist.
The Papua setting is a refreshing change for a thriller, as is the ocean itself, with some diving and big wave sequences that will knock your socks off. This is armchair adventure at it’s most exciting.
This is a great start for Jake Avila and sets in place what to expect from book two and beyond. Grab this, read it, tell your friends, and hopefully Avila will have the opportunity to entertain us with many more books to come.