In what will be a familiar refrain now, I bought this book on a whim when it was Kindle Daily Deal. Then I read more closely and suspected I might find it rubbish, so I avoided reading it. My vow in undertaking the Cannonball Read Challenge was to first clear my Kindle Queue though, so here we are. And what do you know? I HATED it.
The novel is set in 1798, on the London docks. Tom Pascoe is removed as Captain of his ship and recruited into the newly formed Maritime Police. He has an arch nemesis, Joseph Boylin, whom Pascoe was responsible for getting court martialled and given 200 lashes. There’s murder, beatings, rattings, smuggling, and lots more. I just fundamentally didn’t care about any of it.
The supporting cast have names which sound more at home in the Harry Potter series (a nurse named Charity Squibb in particular), everyone talks in unconvincing “verily forsooth, get thee hence” type sentences and the whole thing just churns endlessly, boringly around. There’s never any sense of excitement, no urgency, no drive, no oomph. Boylin should be a fascinating character, he should delight and appall in equal measure. He barely makes an impression. Much like the book as a whole. Avoid.