Monday, 14 March 2016

Something in the Water by Ben Starling

Opening with a chase prompted by a dropped, mysterious box, this novel follows investigative journalist Teal as she is sent on assignment to the South Pacific to interview the mysterious Thurston Morfil.  On this journey she takes her (totally unappealing) boyfriend Bear and the memory of her recently deceased grandmother, who had a deep bond with the ocean:

"I leaned back against the headboard of our bed, my mind wandering to the last real
conversation I’d had with Grandma. Staring over my shoulder at the frothing surf, she’d
described how, in unguarded moments, the ocean had “sung” to her. I fingered the ripples
of my bedspread, remembering her description of erratic harmonies that drifted in on a
flood tide. Sometimes she’d heard it in her seafront cottage, above the cry of the gulls on
those condensingly hot nights." 

Teal and Bear stay in a remote resort, where Teal discovers a lot about the local wildlife and how it's threatened by human activities, while Bear remains self obsessed and boorish. While Bear wanders off, Teal becomes involved with Perry, a marine biologist and eco-activist. Together they become aware of mysterious and possibly illegal activities going on in the area with tentacles stretching globally. As they investigate what is going on, they encounter an old native islander, Bob, who seems to be a custodian of the local ecosystems and who may hold insights into a better relationship between humans and nature.

This is an engrossing story, a well balanced mix of romance and thriller, with believable characters (even the vile Bear is (sadly all too) believable!) It's beautifully written with wonderful descriptions of marine life, especially whales. Information about wildlife issues is woven seamlessly into the story and the environmental message is made more powerful by being embedded in the development and actions of the main characters.And yes the mysterious box dropped at the beginning does reappear.....

Something in the Water by Ben Starling

 Self-published on Amazon on January 21, 2016.
Print Length: 330 pages
Formats: links available in mobi, epub and pdf
As ever, red text contains hyperlinks that take you to other web pages where you can find out more.  

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