Frans Vondel, Interpol agent, has been on the heels of international crime lord, Alexander Trumand, for years. Frans has been stationed on the tiny, eclectic island of Sava as the island’s Burgomaster, a position that appears to be rather like the chief of police. However, there isn’t much of a police force on the island other than Frans. Why a savvy agent like Frans spent a year on the island lying in wait for Trumand was never sufficiently explained.
The break in the case appears in the form of Petra Logan, millionaire heiress and fiancé to criminal-in-training, Clark Martin. Clark works for Petra’s banker father and has been skimming money for Trumand, and oops, big mistake, for himself as well. Petra is inadvertently stranded on the island after one of many fights between herself and Clark. Frans takes custody of Petra on a trumped up charge of car theft as she watches the boat with Clark on it sail away. Frans knows that Clark will return for Petra, since it is no secret to anyone other than Petra that Clark is trying to kill her.
Petra is incensed to be taken into custody, because for some odd reason she wants to return to Clark, who has verbally abused her for the entire year of their relationship because she won’t sleep with him. On their first date there had been a boating accident which nearly killed her, and after she regained consciousness, Clark told he he was her savior. Overwhelmed with gratitude, she decides to marry him, but can’t bring herself to be intimate with him. Readers, of course, won’t be surprised to learn that Clark had left her to die in the accident, which Petra conviently forgets, as well as the fact that she had found him to be boorish and unworthy of a second date.
Clark spent the book actively trying to kill Petra and it was never clear whether this was actually because Trumand ordered it, or because Clark thought Trumand ordered it. Trumand, however, has most definitely ordered Clark’s death. Trumand hires two men whose names should have been Tweedledum and Dumber. Why would an international crime lord who has escaped capture for years hire these two idiots?
The plot was weak and confused in many aspects, and for a short book there were way too many extra characters who were just cardboard cutouts anyway. I found it difficult to keep them all straight in relation to their part of the story. Because of this, the focus on the hero and heroine suffered, although they were also fairly shallow characters. No one’s actions corresponded with their character descriptions. Petra is described as intelligent and independent, however her actions are exactly the opposite. She continues to spend time on boats, even after her near death experience without ever learning to swim, and her whole relationship with Clark is totally unbelievable.
Frans is this hot shot secret agent supposedly concerned for Petra’s safety, and yet he leaves her with only one guard to attend a festival. All this while also knowing that Clark is loose on the island somewhere and out to kill her. No one in this book seems to use good judgment, including Trumand, who, in the supreme lack of judgment, arrives on the island during the festival. I won’t share why he shows up, but it isn’t befitting an international crime lord.
Sand Pirates suffered from a weak plot and characters who seemingly acted without intelligence. Whatever decisions were made were invariably the wrong ones. There was some comic relief in the form of Clark’s antics and the interesting Dutch customs of the locals. However, by the time I finished the book, not even the goat intestine soup was enough to interest me.