“In September of 2007 Chris Zacharius and three other divers recovered a single engine plane from the restricted dive waters of the Silver Banks between the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It was loaded with valuables that had belonged to the dictator Rafael Trujillo. In 1961 Trujillo could feel the hot breath of his countrymen on his back and knowing the end was near, he was moving his assets to a nearby island. This was a valuable find for Chris and his fellow divers Mit Kruger, Gretchen Viertbauer, and Angel Dominguez. They quickly found that this discovery was small compared to a three billion treasure hidden somewhere in the Dominican Republic. The quest for this huge fortune takes the group to the mountains of the Dominican Republic, to Haiti during a rebel war, and to a cave to rescue one of their group kidnapped by an army of drug smugglers led by Jon Jon Vieux who practices the evil version of voodoo. The story is an epic adventure that is fun, sexy, explosive, and blends historical facts into legendary fiction.”
At Garland County Library’s 2019 Local Author Day, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Chap. In fact, we shared a table lol. We discussed his writing career and amazing experience as a master scuba diver as well as his travels to other countries. An intriguing individual with intriguing tales both fictional and factual.
“Once Upon a Reef” is an action packed novel that is super immersive, drawing on details from the author’s real life experiences. The history and culture combined with great character development weaves a world which will make the reader question if this is actually a work of imagination at all.
We’re introduced to Chris, a scuba diver who has recently made a name for himself as a successful treasure hunter. When he and his friends take on an expedition to return to the Dominican Republic in search of more, they find themselves in danger at every turn. Whether it be the country’s government, the Coast Guard, citizens who feel slighted by their adventures, or a man claiming rights to all found treasure, there is hardly a moment’s peace for the crew to enjoy. Yet somehow, along the way, Chris finds himself in a heated romance.
I absolutely adore when a writer researches or writes from personal experience to make use of facts to craft a realistic and believable story which is exactly what Chap Harper does, leaving his audience with a story that puts modern action flicks to shame.
Want your book reviewed? Click here for more information.
~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden