January 28, 2014

Ocean shipping industry provides backdrop for crime novels

It's not your standard literary genre, but several novels have been set in the apparently crime-ridden, shady world of ocean shipping.

By DC Velocity Staff

We've always thought of the transportation industry as an interesting, but not particularly exciting or suspenseful, corner of the business world. Apparently, we were wrong. Or so the jacket copy for Viking Raid: A Robert Fairchild Novel would indicate.

Written by Matthew McCleery, president of Marine Money International, which publishes Marine Money magazine and other ship finance publications, Viking Raid follows ex-hedge fund manager Robert Fairchild and a Norwegian shipping tycoon as they attempt a $500 million initial public offering "but end up wedged between an American shale gas wildcatter and the energy-hungry People's Republic of China," according to the book's press release.

This is the second of McCleery's shipping industry novels. The first was The Shipping Man, which also focused on the complex and potentially problematic connections between Wall Street and the maritime world. It received a favorable review from Forbes and praise from several shipping industry executives. Both books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble online.

But wait ... there's more. In 2012, CNBC.com Managing Editor Allen R. Wastler, who for many years ably covered the maritime industry for The Journal of Commerce, self-published a novel (as "Rev Wastler") titled Cargo Kills. The novel, which is available on Amazon.com as an e-book, is described on the bookseller's site as follows: "Dark docks, gritty shipyards, diesel-stained trains and trucks ... cargo is a dirty business ... and a deadly business. When ocean liners mysteriously sink and a dead body floats up under a cargo pier, a young reporter finds the story of his life. Problem is, can he keep his life long enough to tell it?"

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