Thursday 11 June 2020

Review: The Girl from A Thousand Fathoms by David Gullen

(This is the first of three reviews for books I purchased during IndieApril.)

Tim Wassiter, P.I. isn’t a cynical old-school detective with a bottle in the desk, he’s the new-age version with chickens, tea – and a little bit of magic. His ex-partner scoffs, the old lady down the road just wants him to find her missing cat, but Tim knows that magic works. He’s seen the proof and he’s learning to use it to solve crimes.

Money’s tight but now he has his first real case. But what sounds like easy money isn’t as simple as it seems. The mysterious woman who hired him has dangerous friends and they're rapidly losing patience. Tim needs to discover what’s really going on, and fast. Soon there’s an even more mysterious woman, a series of increasingly strange events, and a great many more cats.

As things get more violent, more bewildering and more utterly weird, Tim discovers that this case goes far deeper than he could ever have imagined. Everything is connected, even the past and the future, and everyone is looking for a girl who almost certainly does not exist.

And magic isn’t just real, it’s probably going to get him killed.

What’s not to love about this book! It has to be the most quirky, unusual and entertaining read I’ve had in a long time.

As you can probably guess from the title there is a strong maritime theme running through this book – from mermaids to sea monsters and a good bit of ships and oceanography thrown into the mix (Oh and this author is spot on with his oceanography).

But most of the action takes place in Brighton, which is brought vividly to life. The sense of place is excellent. I could almost smell the sea and sense the vibe of Brighton’s daily life.

We meet an intriguing cast of characters who, at first glance, seen so widely separated in geography and time that surely there is no way they can all be connected – but rest assured that all the threads pull together into a very satisfying conclusion.

I found this book a really cheerful read. Yes some bad and some scary things happen but there is a certain lightness of touch in the writing and I found myself smiling on numerous occasions.

Escapism? Absolutely! And what more could you ask for with all the craziness going on in the world.

This book is an absolute delight and I strongly recommend it.

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