The Black: A Deep Sea Thriller by Paul E. Cooley

This had a bit of a Peter Benchley feel and to be honest, I really like one-off, fast paced thrillers that are tech- or science-based and at least pseudo-believable. And, for a buck as a Kindle promo, it was worth a shot.

the blackOverall, I liked it. This wasn’t a big blockbuster book, but I often enjoy less commercial, undiscovered authors, so it seemed worth a read. The Black started out a bit confusing as the characters weren’t distinguishable from one another. There were at least seven main characters and around 20 minor ones, so it was hard to keep them all straight at first. I plugged on through and figured the main players would emerge quickly enough, so I ignored the ones who seemed less important.

Basically, we have an oil rig supported by a major corporation with the latest technology and the finest crew. They discover a pocket of super-special, pure oil out in the deep sea. However, everything about the site seems to be off and none of the technology works as it should. Eventually they discover that the oil is living and fighting back and a disaster ensues which brings new meaning to the silly saying “Kill it. Kill it with fire!”

Strangely, that fairly unbelievable idea works as a premise until about 75 percent of the book is done. Then we get weird tense shifts, unmentioned characters thrown in (likely included only to sacrifice to the beast, but still…) and strange editing problems. It seems that either the author or editor crapped out around then.

Anyway, I cannot say I’d recommend this one, but I did enjoy reading it myself. It was not bestseller material, but it was fast and mindless and a good-palate cleanser. Just what I needed after reading some heavier stuff lately. I’m using this for my Popsugar thriller.

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