A sampling of the reviews...


"William Kidd is remembered as one of history's greatest pirates, and thousands of

people have searched in vain for the treasure he supposedly left buried on a desert island.

In this fascinating work of historical  revisionism, Zacks argues that in fact Kidd was a privateer,

commissioned by the British Crown to hunt down pirates. But his mutinous crew

was dissatisfied with the slim pickings of buccaneer-hunting, and Kidd himself inadvertently

 fell afoul of the powerful East India Company, which tarred him as a criminal. Instead of being

 acclaimed a national hero, he died on the gallows, in 1701. Zacks's detective work here is

 thoroughly convincing. In addition, he sets the suspenseful tale of Kidd's downfall within its

 larger historical context, in a manner reminiscent, at times, of Defoe, vividly illustrating the

 brutalities of life on a seagoing vessel and the chaos of urban society at the end of the seventeenth century."


 "According to this lively account, William Kidd, aka Captain Kidd,

was hardly the bloodthirsty buccaneer of legend but a mercenary who lived in New York

 and was hired by the British government and some wealthy merchants to hunt down pirates

 and reclaim their booty. The result is an "entertaining, richly detailed and authoritatively

 narrated" yarn, one critic said last year.



"It was all a frame up. Captain Kidd, legendary scourge of the high seas,

was actually a good guy, commissioned by the King of England in the 1600s to catch pirates.

But that doesn't make this biography any less swashbucklingly gripping. A cocksure Scottish charmer,

Kidd roams the ocean swapping broadsides and crossing cutlasses in fine style, and with Zacks

at the helm you can smell the brine and taste the hardtack. In those days, the ocean

was a no-man's-land of freebooters and privateers, where everybody flew false flags and switched sides with

the change of the tide. Kidd's mission ultimately founders in political waters, but Zacks's telling of it can stand

with anything by Patrick O'Brian as a magnificent naval adventure."


"A bona fide a historical thriller"


"Part high-seas adventure, part courtroom drama."

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