Why kill the survivors of a sinking ship?
A speeding boat rams a life raft, leaving no survivors. A man embroiled in an investigation of potential suicide bombers disappears…
Retired inspector Charlie Hunter’s belief that the two events are related leads him to accept a job working a charter between England and France. The only way to find out the truth is to be the man on the inside.
But Charlie’s life is at risk on the rough Channel. All is not as it seems on the shifting seas, and some players are holding secrets that will change the game…and the sunken life raft is the key.
From the moment I started reading this series I was hooked! Featuring a retired a retired British detective inspector, this series exposes the inner workings of the mind and heart of a man who has experienced hurt and loss in the murder of his mother, the death of his own artistic dreams, the loss of the relationship with his father, the demise of his marriage and the disappointment of a career that may have given him a living and a pension but which never helped to discover the answers he sought about his mother’s death or apprehending her murderers. And yet within this man’s psyche resides a human being who is still touched by the hurts and losses in others’ lives, is still hungry to find the kind of relationship and human connection that comes with authentic loving, and who wants his life to matter.
Charlie Hunter is, all in all, a fascinating man. His facade of distance for the movement of life around him is deceptive. He is a musician with a heart for authentic jazz, a man who turned away from his artistic side when he was witness to his mother’s murder, a fine artist in her own right. But Charlie’s needs keep on surfacing and it is that ebb and flow that gives this novel its intensity, the mystery that engages his mind, his anger over being witness to senseless murder at sea, his sense of impotence at not being able to save helpless victims. He has a hard time maintaining his disinterested face to the world. And would you believe, it is a woman of depth, curiosity, relentless love for her family and friends, a kind of tenacious hold on her goals that intrigues this seemingly disinterested man and draws him outside himself at the most curious times.
This is a really compelling piece of writing, a story that moves forward in such a way that the reader feels literally dragged from page to page. Just when it seems that the action is lagging something else happens to rev up the tension, the sexual temperature, the sense of danger that seems to hover around the boundaries of Charlie’s life. Even though the mystery at the center of this novel appears to have been solved, there is a sense of mystery about Charlie’s life, aspects of his history that keep surfacing, mysteries like the murder of his mom that don’t get solved. These keep the reader glued to the story, hoping that somehow this very complicated man can find some resolution to the questions that don’t ever seem to leave him alone. Ms Soliman’s writing style is such that the questions keep coming back, the personalities keep clashing against each other, and people from Charlie’s past waft in and out of his life, keeping him uneasy on the one hand and offering a helping hand on the other. The reader will be fascinated with the way he views people and situations, the instincts that draw him toward conclusions that seem “way out” and yet often prove sound.
All in all this is a fine piece of writing, a novel that will please those of us who are totally in love with this man and this series, and readers who enjoy a novel that is an example of excellence in crafting wonderful fiction. It’s a novel that is well worth the time and effort to read and the reader will be rewarded with entertainment for the mind as well as that sense of having experienced something really, really good.
I give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.