Friday, 9 May 2014

Close Reach - a frozen and soaked review!

by Jonathan Moore
Random House Publishing Group - Hydra (6 mai 2014)
200 pages - 3.15 $ (kindle edition)

Always good to know that Jonathan Moore was nominated for the Bram Stoker price (Brams: good old Dracula's daddy) (the master of Brrr). It herefore suggests a good novel... a creepy one. 

What that book's about

In a riveting tale of suspense and terror on the high seas,Bram Stoker Award nominee Jonathan Moore pits human beings against nature—and something far deadlier: one another.

Kelly Pratihari-Reid and her husband sail their yacht into Antarctic waters, thinking their gravest concerns will be ice and storms—and their cracked marriage. A British girl shrieking across a short-range VHF frequency ends that illusion. It’s coming, she screams. It saw us and it’s coming back! Her voice is drowned by a tide of signal-jamming static, and Kelly sees a target on the radar screen: A ship is coming for them.

Thus begins an unforgettable cat-and-mouse game across stormy polar seas and dire landfalls. Kelly’s pursuers will test her to the limits of her endurance—and beyond. For the ship in her wake is crewed by pirates, with a young leader trained to use the most sadistic tortures in pursuit of his ultimate objective . . . a goal as shocking as it is horrific.

What's about that book

One thing is for sure, this book has almost nipped in the bud my desires to leave one day one a cruise on my yacht - what with icy storms, pirates and other mishaps - what has totally nipped it is my distinct lack of a boat...

I am not a pro at navigation but the author and yes it shows (or rather read). The terms are technical but not in I-explains-everything-so-well-it's-becoming-bloody-boring kind of style. Kelly and her husband - Dean - make a long cruise and we sail with them, at the same time. Navigation maneuvers are present to describe the action of the protagonists and it's well done. Sailing enthusiasts will be delighted with this book because they can very easily imagine themselves on Freefall, the boat designed by Dean. Similarly, some more medical scenes are very well described and in a professional manner. The author has clearly enquired which gives an impression of professionalism that I like in novels (I don't like when an author is trying to make me believe that impossible things are real!) (it's just a case of "C'mon! that can't even exist")

Regarding the characters, I can not say too much as not to reveal the book but they are very well written. The pirates are detestable to wish and I enjoyed every problem they encountered (mwahaha). The pirates' victims are moving and we feel the horror of their situation. Dean is the good guy, always ready to help others at the risk of his life but rather subdued in the novel. As for Kelly, she is focused, efficient and her past allows her not only to be combative but also to be strong and resourceful.

As for the story, it changes constantly in a creepy game of cat and mouse. The beginning focuses on the pursuit and the collision at sea and, despite (or rather because of) the technical terms, I found it very well done. There was not a moment to stop and I really saw myself on the boat. Once the collision happened, the story takes place on land and Kelly will discover the pirates' purpose. A purpose she'll do everything to destroy. Some scenes are very hard and graphic and can bother some people but honestly, they serve to show the horror of the situation and in that, they are excellent (one should not forget Moore's nomination to the Bram Stoker price!) (it gives one an idea of his talent for horror) (you have been warned!)

In a nutshell

An excellent novel, technical and well done, a big bunch of horror, a plausible story (yes, pirates do exist...) A book that will appeal to sailing enthusiasts, horror enthusiasts or both! It's a 4/5 for me.

Warning: An e- galley of this title was provided to me by the publisher. No review has been promised and chronic above is an unbiased review of the novel.

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