Mark Rimmer’s debut novel, The California Run, terrific novel of two clipper ships engaged in fast and furious race around Cape Horn, is having a promotional sale: Kindle editions for $2.99, September 20-22, 2018.
New York, 1850. Two clipper ships depart on a race around Cape Horn to the boom-town of San Francisco, where the first to arrive will gain substantial profits and win a $50,000 wager for her owner. Sapphire is a veteran ship with an experienced crew, while Achilles is newly-built with a complement of garrulous British sailors, recalcitrant Swedish immigrants, an enterprising French madam accompanied by three of her girls, Harry, a luckless Englishman, and Sarah Doyle, a brilliant and talented grifter.
Despite having the advantage, Sapphire’s owner has placed a saboteur aboard the Achilles with instructions to impede her in any way possible, including murdering her chief mate and captain. An inexperienced 2nd mate, Nate Cooper, suddenly finds himself in command of Achilles aided by the late captain’s niece Emma, the only navigator remaining on board. Together with the help of Sarah Doyle, they fight to regain control over a crew of unruly misfits, weather the dangerous storms of Cape Horn, and arrive at their destination ahead of the Sapphire to claim the prize.