Stormtide by Bill Knox
|Stormtide by Bill Knox|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A Webb Carrick of the Scottish Fisheries Protection Service murder mystery which might have been published in 1972 but is still a good story.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: February 2011|
Webb Carrick is a Chief Officer in the Scottish Fisheries Protection Service and he's out in the North Atlantic where he strays into the middle of a feud between shark hunters and local fishermen. It's a little time since it happened but they're still angry about the death of a young woman. The consensus of opinion is that she discovered she was pregnant and committed suicide from the pier. One of the shark hunters is held to be responsible. It all threatens to come to a head when Carrick boards a fishing boat and finds her skipper dead on the deck.
I had my doubts about this book as I started reading. It was first published in 1972 when wallets could be stuffed with pound notes, £100 was a lot of money and £2 could ensure a good night out. The doubts soon passed though as the book has something timeless – a damned good story with mystery and suspense. To start with the basics, this man knows his boats and when you read you get the feel of a book written from knowledge rather than research and it's all the more enjoyable for that. You really feel that you're there – and it's usually cold and wet.
Carrick himself I found a little two-dimensional, but there's an absolute gem of a character in the captain of the Marlin, Captain James Shannon. He's squat, bearded, irascible and has a brain that frequently betters his junior officers with little effort. The women are largely there for decoration or rescuing, but that's a minor quibble as this is really a story about men at work in an area where women didn't often go in the seventies.
When I was about half way through the book I had to put it down and was quite surprised by how keen I was to get back to it – and how sorry I was that I'd finished it. It's not great literature. It's not even great crime, but it is a good story which keeps you guessing to the end.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For more marine-based crime you might enjoy The Suffocating Sea: A DI Horton Marine Mystery Crime Novel by Pauline Rowson.
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