This image is the cover for the book Hammond Innes Collection Volume Four

Hammond Innes Collection Volume Four

Three hard-hitting thrillers from the author of The Wreck of the Mary Deare and “Great Britain’s leading adventure novelist” (Financial Times).

British novelist Hammond Innes was perhaps best known for his nautical mystery, The Wreck of the Mary Deare, which was made into a film starring Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston. But the prolific writer, World War II veteran, and dedicated yachtsman wrote over thirty novels of adventure and suspense during his long career. The collected fiction gathered here follows three very different quests and spans the locales of Western Australia, the North Sea, and the Arabian Desert. As always, “for sheer excitement Hammond Innes will be hard to beat” (Daphne du Maurier).

Golden Soak: In this “tenacious adventure,” Alec Falls, a ruined and unscrupulous tin miner, travels to the forbidding desert of Western Australia in search of the legendary abandoned gold mine known as Golden Soak (Kirkus Reviews). But the mine is empty, the land is dry, and the people of the desert feed on men like Falls. To make the fortune he craves, he must pull water from the sand—and gold from thin air.

“As good as any story can be.” —The Times (London)

Maddon’s Rock: Stranded in a Russian port for weeks during World War II, Corporal James Vardy finally boards the Trikkala, hoping to return to England. But quickly he senses the vessel is doomed. Her officers are drunk, her lifeboats are leaky, and the mysterious crates supposedly carrying machine parts actually contain a fortune in silver bullion. On the North Sea, he realizes the ship is peeling away from its convoy, a suicidal decision that takes the Trikkala—and Vardy—directly into troubled waters. Also published in the United States as Gale Warnings.

“Exciting . . . [a] new high in action adventure—in a story of modern piracy, treasure raising, of false charges of mutiny, and a fighting finish.” —Kirkus Reviews

The Doomed Oasis: Col. Charles Stanley Whitaker is a legendary figure who made his fortune in the oil fields of the Arabian Desert, becoming more Bedouin than British. Three years ago, his illegitimate nineteen-year-old son, David Thomas, embarked on a quest to find him. Now, David has seemingly vanished into the desert. Unraveling the mystery of his disappearance will culminate in the oasis town of Saraifa, where water is as valuable as oil, and life can be cheap.

“The writing shines as vivid and sharp as the desert sun.” —Gavin Lyall

Hammond Innes

Hammond Innes (1913–1998) was the British author of over thirty novels, as well as children’s and travel books. Born Ralph Hammond Innes in Horsham, Sussex, he was educated at the Cranbrook School in Kent. He left in 1931 to work as a journalist at the Financial News. The Doppelganger, his first novel, was published in 1937. Innes served in the Royal Artillery in World War II, eventually rising to the rank of major. A number of his books were published during the war, including Wreckers Must Breathe (1940), The Trojan Horse (1940), and Attack Alarm (1941), which was based on his experiences as an anti-aircraft gunner during the Battle of Britain.

Following his demobilization in 1946, Innes worked full-time as a writer, achieving a number of early successes. His novels are notable for their fine attention to accurate detail in descriptions of place, such as Air Bridge (1951), which is set at RAF stations during the Berlin Airlift. Innes’s protagonists were often not heroes in the typical sense, but ordinary men suddenly thrust into extreme situations by circumstance. Often, this involved being placed in a hostile environment—for example, the Arctic, the open sea, deserts—or unwittingly becoming involved in a larger conflict or conspiracy. Innes’s protagonists are forced to rely on their own wits rather than the weapons and gadgetry commonly used by thriller writers. An experienced yachtsman, his great love and understanding of the sea was reflected in many of his novels.

Innes went on to produce books on a regular schedule of six months for travel and research followed by six months of writing. He continued to write until just before his death, his final novel being Delta Connection (1996). At his death, he left the bulk of his estate to the Association of Sea Training Organisations to enable others to experience sailing in the element he loved.

Open Road Integrated Media