Litercurious Book Review

TitleDangerous Shallows: In Search of The
Ghost Ships of Cape Cod
AuthorEric Takakjian & Randall Peffer
PublisherLyons Press (January 24, 2020)
FormatPaperback, Kindle
ISBN # 10 / 131493042300 / 978-1493042302


Find out more about Eric Takakjian on his linkedin page here. He can be found on Boston Sea Rovers here. Finally you can find some information on Eric at Doug Grad Literary Agency, Inc. here.

You can find some information on Randall at Doug Grad Literary Agency, Inc. here. Randall Peffer gives a 90 second video biography here.


This book is for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a sailor, a diver, a history buff, an adventurer, or you just like a good thriller; this book has it all.


Dangerous Shallows: In Search of The Ghost Ships of Cape Cod is a superbly written book that grips the reader from the very onset. Eric Takakjian takes the reader from the earliest of times in relation to diving techniques to modern mixed gasses. He intersperses his experiences with spellbinding tales of sunken ships and the events that led up to their tragic fates.

Eric explains in terms that are easy to understand all of the intricacies of diving and especially deep diving. He guides us through the uses of mixed gas to get to exceptionally deep wrecks and the troubles associated with each dive. He brings into view the price of miscalculation and bad circumstance and the lethal effects associated with deep diving. Intermixed is his own journey as a USCG crewman through his marriage and operating his own dive company while looking for those “virgin” wrecks.

Dangerous Shallows covers a myriad of different vessels and reasons for their current predicaments. The wrecks that Eric explores cover centuries of accidents, war, and depression. He takes the time to relate to the reader exactly what he sees and feels as he dives the wrecks. While swimming over the wrecks, he takes the reader back in time and makes the reader feel as if they are there for each vessel’s demise. The reader can feel the panic, the elation, the fear, or the determination of the people associated with each vessel.

Included within the book are the stories of his own trials and tribulations. He talks about the hardships keeping “virgin” wreck locations secret and the betrayal of “friends” who want to use his work for their own gains. He explains the research he, his wife, and friends undertake to locate and find each lost vessel. Eric describes the dangers each particular dive has; from currents, to sharks, to visibility issues, to the “bends.”

The author interfuses pictures and illustrations throughout the book. The color and black and white photos enhance the readers perceptions of the boats and the wrecks. Some of the photos are historic as are the schematics.


This book is thrilling, mysterious, and intriguing. Even if you don’t know much about diving and especially deep diving, this book easily explains the terms and conditions. The stories of the individual wrecks are told in vivid detail.  The reader can easily feel as if they are right there with him on this journey of discovery. I heartily recommend this book for everyone.


I would like to thank Eric Takakjian and Randall Peffer, NetGalley, and Lyons Press for affording me the opportunity to review Dangerous Shallows: In Search of the Ghost Ships of Cape Cod.

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