- Narrated by
- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 37 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Variance LLC
- Audible.com Release Date: November 21, 2011
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
When a blue whale tagged with a web-cam designed with stolen defense technology broadcasts a brutal murder at sea as part of a television nature program, Special Agent Tara Shores finds herself navigating an ocean of manipulation and deceit. It's a deadly race to reach the 100-ton creature roaming the Pacific before an unknown killer can destroy the digital evidence it carries. As Shores dives deeper into the case, what she initially dismisses as a publicity stunt for the glitzy reality series soon sweeps her out to sea in a riptide of greed, intrigue, and high-tech crime.
A blue whale has been tagged with a video camera that is running live feed to a television program called Wired Kingdom. Suddenly there is a huge stir when the video shows what appears to be a murder of a young woman. It could be a hoax from the producers to up ratings. But when some divers stealthily try to get the tag off the whale the FBI becomes engaged as well as the public.
Mexican pilot Hector is lured by money to take on the job of flying divers to retrieve the tag. His obsession to gain funds for his ill daughter’s operation propels him to risk the lives of the divers as he pursues the recovery of the camera. On one of the retrieval attempts they drop a net entangling the whale and hindering her defense against an attack by a pod of Orca whales. The divers almost succeed in getting the camera but one is caught in the net and another is caught by the Orcas.
FBI Special Agent Tara Shores becomes the central agent in the attempt to retrieve the video camera as evidence for the murder investigation. Tara ends up interviewing Dr. Anastasia Reed who is the daughter of the shows Producer and the person who tracks the Wired Kingdom feed. Tensions build as Anastasia, a known lesbian, voices her interest in Tara at the same time she expresses her concerns that the video camera may be evidence against her father who has been arrested for the murder.
An OLF (Ocean Liberation Front) boat captained by Eric, Anastasia’s ex-boyfriend from college, tries to block the efforts of the officials to strip the tag from the whale. Eric has gone from being a proponent of saving whales to a violent protestor labeled as an eco-terrorist. After an afternoon of partying the OLF crew hook up with Hector and his divers to pursue the whale. Now they have mounted a harpoon gun with the intent to kill the whale to stop the tagging if they can’t retrieve the tag.
This is Mr. Chesler's debut novel and the thriller is very well plotted with plenty of excitement and danger from several sources. There are a few slow places but most of the book moves at a good pace. The concept of the tagged whale is fascinating and I found the details regarding the endangered species, the Orca attacks and the efforts of protection, or lack thereof, very interesting. The story kept me on the edge waiting to see who would win the race to the whale and what its fate would be, as well as wondering what the camera would reveal about the murderer. There are several ironies and twists in the mystery.
I actually thought there were two narrators. Initially the narration is adequate but seems a bit dry with little emotional expression and excitement. The second half of the story the narrator gives a much more enthusiastic and lively reading. Overall I recommend this is as a fine thriller and an entertaining audio listen.