I have actually been to the Hell to which this book refers - its a little village on the Caribbean island of Grand Cayman that lives off its unusual name by selling souvenir postcards and novelties.
A Must Read For Scuba Divers! yells the dust-jacket. This is apparently the fifth in a series of novels about a character called Emerson Moore, a multi-talented Washington Post crime reporter (he certainly knocks off learning to be a technical diver with impressive ease). Centred on the Cayman Islands, the story explores familiar underwater-novel themes of gangsters, drug-running, missing Nazi gold and so on.
As a story its derivative, all over the place, especially at the start, and plagued by cringe-worthy dialogue and unnecessary Wikipedia-style doses of exposition.
Many genuine Cayman diving characters are featured, and, as friends of the author, they are of course great guys and gals though, one hopes, less casually murderous than portrayed here. The villains, mostly Jamaican, are as stereotypical as they come, much given to grinning in a sinister way.
Having ploughed through The Other Side Of Hell on your behalf, I feel as if Ive been not only there but back.
Keep the accompanying CD by Bobs mate Mike Mad Dog Adams, the sort of Margaritaville rock that sounds OK in a Caribbean bar, but I should look elsewhere for a good read.
Steve Weinman

Packard Island Publishing
ISBN: 9780978618414
Hardback, 305pp, US $29.95