Zoologist Bill Schutt and archaeologist J. R. Finch have written the final chapter in their trilogy, beginning with “The Himalayan Codex” and “Hell’s Gate” closing with the exciting finale “The Darwin Strain.” (William Morrow, 412 pages)
Set in the post-World War II era, cryptozoologist Richard John (R. J.) MacCready and his friend Yanni Thorne, who possesses a great empathy towards animals, travel to the Greek island of Santorini to investigate a mysterious strain of microbe that appears to have miraculous healing powers.
But the red microbe seems to accelerate evolution, hence the book’s title. The pair join up with real-life sea explorer Jacques Cousteau as they investigate the mysteries on Santorini where they encounter Kraken. Every mariner’s worst fear is a terrifying beast of the great depths of the ocean.
The writing team of Schutt and Finch make zoology an exciting and riveting read. Their notes at the end of the book are most interesting and will leave the reader with respect for octopi.
For those who remember Peter Benchley’s “Jaws” here’s another great little seafaring yarn to pack in with one’s beach towel.