Riptide (novel)

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Riptide (1998 cover)
Author Douglas Preston,
Lincoln Child
Country United States
Language English
Genre Thriller, Science fiction novel
Published 1998 (Warner Books)
Media type Hardcover
Pages 496
ISBN 0-446-60717-7
OCLC 41576664
Preceded by Mount Dragon
Followed by Thunderhead

Riptide is a novel written by Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston published in 1998 by Warner Books.

The novel revolves around a plot to retrieve the buried treasure of nefarious pirate Red Ned Ockham. The treasure, which is estimated to be worth close to two billion dollars, reputedly includes "St. Michael's Sword", a weapon with the power to kill anyone who looks at it.

The novel is pure fiction but is based in part on the legend of the Oak Island Money Pit.

The location of the pit, described as the Water Pit in Riptide, is moved to a fictional Ragged Island, a dangerous drumlin island approximately six miles off the coast of Maine.


The novel begins in 1971 and introduces main character Malin Hatch and his older brother Johnny Hatch. In search for something to do with their summer day, Malin suggests that the two explore Ragged Island, an island owned by the Hatch family. Ragged Island is strictly off limits to the boys, because of its ability to "destroy" those who come in contact with it. The Hatch brothers ignore their father's demand to stay away from the island and set off for it. Once the boys make it to the island, a terrible accident takes place, that Malin will struggle with for the next 25 years.

Twenty five years later, Dr. Malin Hatch is approached by Gerard Neidelman, a self-proclaimed recovery specialist (a euphemism for treasure hunter), who claims to know who designed the pit, and, therefore, holds the key to unearthing the treasure. Hatch is at first skeptical of Neidelman's claim, but at length allows him to dig on the island.

Once on the island, things do not go as planned. Mysterious accidents, illnesses and computer problems plague the salvage team, and it is discovered that the architect of the "Water Pit" is more clever than anyone realized.


According to an interview in 2003 with Douglas Preston, talk of a film based upon the book was in its beginning stages. As of 2008, the film has still not started production. No further comment on the film has been announced since 2003.

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