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"... it's a rollicking ride ... Hardberger tells a great story [and] writes with genuine skill ..." The Washington Post

Capt. Max Hardberger  uses every trick, tool and tactic at his disposal to right wrongs and out-pirate pirates in this action-packed exposé of the seedy underworld of international shipping. As a professional ship extractor, he risks death and imprisonment in dangerous third-world ports to steal ships from modern buccaneers and corrupt governments and deliver them back to their rightful owners. In the course of his adventures, he’s had to outwit resourceful crime families, subdue armed soldiers, and turn the tables on clever con artists. He’s escaped imprisonment in Venezuela and avoided death at the hands of the Russian mafia. 

The locations in SEIZED are as fascinating as the characters. From the skies of East Germany to the icy docks of the once-forbidden city of Vladivostok, Russia, from the sun-drenched shores of Haiti to a pirate shipbreaking yard in Belgium, Capt. Max’s adventures have led him into dangerous and desperate situations around the world. 

Because Capt. Max shuns the use of force, the ingenious methods he must use to accomplish his missions are the stuff of legend—he's employed a witch doctor in Haiti, tricked armed guards off a ship in Honduras, and rented a brothel in Mexico, all to thwart the designs of ship-thieves. SEIZED is an intense, fast-paced window on the underbelly of ocean shipping, where “all power comes from the barrel of a gun,” and the only law is the law of survival. 


  • Click here to read all of Chapter 1 of SEIZED, entitled "Through the Reefs on the Naruda"

  • We were hidden from the guardshack by the bulk of the ship as we went up the jacob’s ladder. The men knew their jobs and dispersed without discussion. The chief officer led a gang forward to cut the bow lines. Another gang went aft. The captain and I went to the bridge and Otto and his men slipped down to the engine room...

  • He turned. “I know how to handle women like that. In the KDS, we put them in a cell with two feet of water in it. She would be a different woman in the morning, I guarantee.”

  • It was an odd feeling, an equal mixture of exhilaration and apprehension, to be skimming over East Germany in an unregistered plane without a flight plan...

  • The city was under a curfew until six a.m., and we didn’t dare enter Carrefour until then. Soldiers controlled the city now, and they had a tendency to shoot at moving vehicles with no questions asked...

  • “Christ, what are we going to do, then? Water’s flooding Number One Hold. We can’t turn back, and at this rate, we’ll go down in a few hours.”

  • More to come...

Order the Book

SEIZED is now available wherever books are sold, including the following online retailers:

U.S. Hardcover Edition

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U.K. and Commonwealth Paperback Edition
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German Hardcover Edition
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U.S. Hardcover Edition


Barnes & Noble


Borders Books

Random House

U.K. and Commonwealth Paperback Edition



Nicholas Brealey Publishing


To learn about purchasing SEIZED in bulk or about cross-promotional opportunities for your organization, please contact Julie Cepler at jcepler@randomhouse.com or (212) 782-8259 for the U.S. hardcover edition or Andrew Menniss at sales@nicholasbrealey.com or +44 20 7239 0360 for the U.K. and Commonwealth paperback edition.

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