The Sea Detective by Mark Douglas-Home
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Started: 28th July
Finished: 2nd August
The 'Sea Detective' of the title is Cal McGill, a PhD student who has spent years studying ocean currents, tide charts, wind data etc in order to track oil spills, containers which have gone overboard, fishing nets... and also to determine how and why bodies (or body parts) wash up on particular shores. He started in this line of research after learning that his grandfather had been lost at sea.
The book switches between the exploits of Mr McGill, and the ordeal of two Indian girls, Preeti and Basanti, who have been sold into the sex trade by their families.
One of the girls eventually tracks down Cal, who, along with Detective Constable Helen Jamieson, helps her find out what happened to her friend.
Meanwhile, Cal is also learning more about the events that led to his grandfather's death.
I really enjoyed this book. It begins with the journey taken by Preeti and Basanti to... well, they don't know where they have been taken to, or even how long they've been travelling. It was an interesting, though harrowing, start to the novel. Then things slowed down a little, because Cal is brought in for questioning by the police due to his other little 'sideline' - a bit of political eco-activism. However, this is where we are introduced to him and find out more about his oceanography research. We also meet Helen Jamieson, who turns out to be very likeable - I imagined her being similar to Olivia Coleman's character in Broadchurch. She actually enlists Cal's help to get one up on her boss, which was one of those "yeah, you go girl!" moments.
The storyline concerning Cal's grandfather was interesting, but I got confused several times about which relative he was talking about, and there were a lot of other characters mentioned which also made it a bit hard to keep track.
Eventually, all the different strands of the story come together at the end to be solved by Cal and Helen.
I think there are two more books featuring Cal McGill, both of which are on my to-read list, as I really enjoyed this one.
View all my reviews