A group of ocean photographers and marine biologists heads for the Maldives to photograph and collective marine life for a university. Something is brewing underneath it all and it’s smart to be armed.
The Babcock Foundation ship The Pleiades is in the Indian Ocean. Those on board include Foundation head Archer Babcock, snake expert Cy Clements, artist Orchid Spain and Cy’s friend photographer Teddy Merrick.
During a storm the enginer Joe Mahoney goes overboard. It’s rumored he was drunk and it was an accident. That night Orchid goes to Cy’s cabin for some natural amusement. After she’s gone Cy finds a gift she left for him…a gun.
The next day Les Schriber goes underwater with Teddy. Teddy is going to show him how to use his face mask and some other tips. Les borrows Cy’s airtanks. He’s almost killed as he inhales carbon dioxide underwater. Is someone after Cy?
At night on deck Cy confides in Teddy that he saw Mahoney…alive. Later Cy is warned by his friend on the crew, Debacle Johnson, that there’s trouble in the air and it sounds like a coming mutiny. The cook passes Cy a sharp knife to carry.
Tragedy strikes again as an author on board falls into a huge school of poisonous Portugese Man O War jellyfish. Dr.Ernest Karsh tries to rescue her but the stings were just too much. Cy and others wonder about Karsh’s past. He was held prisoner in East Germany but they don’t know the circumstances. Then Babcock has a heart attack….or is he faking?
Cy finds out that whatever is going to happen, Orchid is in on it. This is an intersting book made better because of its unusual setting. The author is not to be confused with the actor Jack Webb.