Chandler (Chan) Gray, recent president of a “rags to riches and back to rags again” app development start-up, is the good-looking, good-hearted protagonist. He was left with enough money to buy the 50-year-old vintage yacht,”Blue Rose,” his home of the moment.
Tiger is the childhood nickname of the feisty, but gorgeous billionaire Gina Lee, owner of the 120-foot yacht, Aphrodite (aka Afro).
The Robot is an Android app, the female persona of which is named Saga, created and programmed by the tech savvy Chan. Little does Chan know of the extent of Saga’s AI, its development continuing autonomously way beyond what he programmed, leading to her role as cyber-sleuth private investigator on the trail of Gina (aka Tiger) after she is kidnapped on the morning of the prestigious Swiftsure yacht race.
“Aphrodite” skipper Billy Taylor, used to his boss’s eccentricities, nonetheless wonders where Gina might be when the race countdown begins. However, he knows that it is his job is to make sure Afro wins the Swiftsure. Chan, previously asked by Gina to join the Afro crew, isn’t as sanguine as Billy, but manages to do his share of the crewing, is caught up in the excitement of waves and wind especially as the sleek vessel is poised to win position among the parade of more than 150 competing yachts racing toward the finish line. Putting a dampening on the thrill is that Gina, the yacht’s owner, is still mysteriously missing. Billy advises Chan to let the police handle her disappearance, but Chan, who recently spent a most memorable night with her at the Empress Hotel, can’t do that. Billy agrees, and Chan search begins, with cooperation from the police.
Saga (the Android app developed by Chan) enters the story big-time at this point. Chan is the private investigator on the case to the rest of the world, but Saga—operating as an app in Chan’s Android mobile phone while observing the scene via the tiny cameras built into Chan’s sunglasses—is operating behind the scenes.
Right at home in the world of complex, inventive, and daily changing high-tech communications and electronics, the author Grahame Shannon knows his way around technology. Also, he is a well-known designer of racing yachts as well. In fact, Shannon is a well-known yacht designer. And, for someone born in the Caribbean (Grenada), he’s quite at home in Victoria, Vancouver, and coastal and rural British Columbia, as well as the mariner’s highway along the B.C. and Alaska coast.
The combination of the authors background and expertise makes the Tiger and the Robot an entertaining and plausible read for those who are fans of sailing, cyber thrillers, and for those who simply enjoy a good whodunit mystery. Shannon has created a page-turner of a thriller and carved a small world’s worth of fascinating and unique characters, pulled out of both high places and dark corners.
Special Note: The Swiftsure International Yacht Race Week of 2017 began in Victoria, B.C., over Memorial Day weekend. While the reviewer penned this review of Grahame Shannon’s exciting fictional search for the fictional kidnapped owner of a fictional entry in (and fictional winner of) the Swiftsure race of 2016! The fact of the actual race (sponsored by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club every Memorial Day weekend) in real-time late May 2017 lends a touch of reality to Tiger and the Robot, especially if you’re familiar with Victoria, Vancouver, British Columbia, and possibly even the annual Swiftsure event.