Book Report: Wildtrack by Bernard Cornwell (1988)

This is a very early thriller from a very young (from the book jacket photo) Cornwell. Probably precedes his success with historical novels, but this very book could be a historical novel of sorts since it deals with a veteran of the Falkland Islands War.

A disabled veteran, winner of the Victoria Cross, finds that his boat–the one thing he missed most–has been beached during his absence and stripped of gear. The probably culprit: a roughneck employed by the television personality who purchased the veteran’s father’s home. The guy is drawn into the television man’s circle when the television man wants to produce a documentary about the veteran’s heroism. The whole thing turns complicated when agents of the television man’s former father-in-law look for revenge against the television guy for the accidental death of his wife in a yacht race. The television guy is going to race again and eventually the veteran gets involved.

It’s a convoluted plot with a meandering pace. The book includes a lot of nautical detail, which sort of gummed it up since I was not that interested in it much. Perhaps the historical novels have similar pacing issues except that I’m interested in the details.

It’s clear to see why Cornwell ended up in the genre where he did. Historical novels suit him better than straight ahead thrillers.

Books mentioned in this review:

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