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Book Review: Dourado by David Wood

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Two ex-Navy SEALs search for a lost Biblical artifact. That's the bare-bones plot of David Wood's Dourado, a gripping action-adventure that leaves you wanting more.

Dane Maddock and Uriah "Bones" Bonebrake are former Navy SEALS who are hired by the daughter of their former commander to find the wreck of the Portuguese ship Dourado, upon which a Biblical artifact was thought to be lost. The story begins with the unraveling of the mystery, followed by the search for the ship, and then takes off from there.

Wood's work is reminiscent of a couple other authors in the field. The opening historical prologue and the mystery centered around a shipwreck are akin to a Clive Cussler's writing, while the almost non-stop action is akin to a Matt Reilly novel.

Dourado has a strong back-story, and the pacing is good. The settings for the escapades and exploits change frequently, and Wood spices up the variety — to name a few examples — with a battle with modern-day Caribbean pirates, a shootout in the streets of Charleston, a dive in the Pacific, and an adventure in the Middle East. The Biblical archaeology and speculative angles add depth and interest to the story. The main characters are good, especially Bones, who is tough and funny and altogether believable.

The pacing of Dourado is also its weakness. There were times when I wanted the author to slow down and give a little more explanation or more development to secondary characters. There is a suggested love interest, but nothing really happens.

Overall, I would recommend the book for those who love the action-adventure genre. Dourado is fast-paced suspense with action to spare. Dane Maddock is a hero cut from the Dirk Pitt mold, and "Bones" Bonebrake is the best sidekick around. If you like your thrillers with a touch of mystery and Biblical archaeology, Dourado is the book for you.

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