Dale Dye, the Marine Vietnam War veteran who made a name for him as Hollywood’s pre-eminent military technical adviser, is also an actor, director, and novelist. His fictional output includes seven well-received Shake Davis novels, and now—for the first time—a Young Adult novel, Seat Hunt: A Novel in the World of Shake Davis (Warriors Publishing Group, 184 pp., $14.95, paper; $5.99, Kindle).
Dye has not left his excellent storytelling behind in his adult novels. Sea Hunt is another well-written, engrossing page turner. Just because it is labelled a YA book, does not mean that this ancient adult did not find much to enjoy in it.
The main character, Shake’s daughter U.S. Navy Lt. Junior Grade Tracey Davis, “is well-occupied leading active duty sailors at the base Ocean Systems Office, but she’s hardly safe,” Dye writes. One day an old friend from her days working in Belize shows up looking for a girl they saved from sex traffickers in Central America.
The story begins at the New England Aquarium in Boston, with Tracey studying octopuses so she can better understand color patterning. We meet Tracey in a weird. wavy image reflected in the tank glass.
“Shaggy and disheveled,” she says. “I look like Aquaman with boobs.”
Before this small novel is wrapped up, Tracey encounters a shark that rivals any we’ve seen portrayed by Hollywood and engages in gun battles with serious bad guys.
Dye writes this novel in accessible prose with a minimum of difficult Navy terminology. As a character, Tracey Davis is easy to identify with. And easy to root for. I found myself doing both.
Well done, Capt. Dye. You have produced another winner.