His previous nonfiction page-turner, Shadow Divers, became a best-selling sensation here on the Jersey Shore — in part because it detailed the real-life story of salvage divers who discovered the wreck of a Nazi U-boat in the too-close-for-comfort waters off Brielle. Most of all, though, the award-winning 2005 tale was told with a genuine storyteller’s gift – an ear for the sort of “ripping yarn” that’s as old as our fascination with the sea, and the secrets it harbors beneath its shimmering, beckoning surface.
When Robert Kurson visits Fair Haven’s Nauvoo Grill Club this Wednesday evening for his only scheduled New Jersey appearance, he’ll bring with him an all-new tale of high adventure in the dark depths of the ocean, Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship. And this time, Kurson’s got company.
Joining the author for the 7:30 pm discussion sponsored by River Road Books is a man with his own deep knowledge of the local waters: Tim Dillingham, executive director of the Sandy Hook-based American Littoral Society, and a seasoned diver who has been in the vanguard of coastal conservation for more than a decade.
Professional divers — including John Chatterton, one of the main figures in Shadow Divers — are once more the focus of Pirate Hunters, a suspenseful and history-fueled account of men who are willing to risk everything (including, but not limited to, their lives) to find the wreck of the Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister; a Golden Age buccaneer said to be “more notorious than Blackbeard, more daring than Kidd.”
Published this week by Random House, the book and its true-life inspirations will be discussed during a reading and signing event.
Light refreshments will be served at the Wednesday event, with a cash bar also available. Admission is the cost of a hardcover edition of Pirate Hunters ($30), with the author signing copies of the new book following the discussion. Advance reservations are required, and can be made by calling River Road Books at (732) 747-9455.