DAY KEENE – Passage to Samoa. Gold Medal #823, paperback original; 1st printing, November 1958. MacFadden Book #50-384, paperback reprint, 1967.

   A non-stop reading adventure taking place in the South Pacific, complete with beautiful women, a deep-sea diver with all of his equipment, a sleepy lagoon, a sunken ship with safe reportedly full of money, and bodies piling up a regular intervals throughout the book, starting from page three on. What more could you ask for?

   One wonders how Day Keene knew so much about diving, boats and islands in the South Pacific, because that’s all that this book is about. Well, besides the usual human emotions of greed, jealousy, and lust, which were what all of Day Keene’s books were about. Matt Kelly is the diver, and rich spoiled brat of a woman named Sylvia Ryan is the stepdaughter of the man who died on the small ship now sitting om the bottom of over a hundred feet of water.

   Is it any surprise that they are in bed together soon after the first murder occurs? This is the kind of stuff that was so enticing to teenagers sneaking peeks in Gold Medal paperbacks on every spinner rack in every drugstore in the country back in the late 1950s. What they learned from them is rather tame now, over sixty years later, even on network TV, and you can tell me if that’s a good thing or not.

   As for the story itself, I found Keene neatly finessing his way a couple of the weaker spots of the overall tale, but as for otherwise being a compulsive non-stop reading adventure, as I said at the top of this review, you’d better believe me. It is.