Books Magazine

The Sea on Fire by Howard Cunnell

By Pamelascott

When they were young men, Kim and his best friend, the charismatic waterman Garland Rain, travelled all year round, working as dive guides. Now Kim is married and a father, but when Garland asks for his help on a three-week trip to the spectacular reefs of the southern Red Sea, it sounds like the perfect job. It's a chance for Kim to provide for his wife, Araba, and their three daughters, while doing what he loves most. The two divers soon find out that their dive boat, the Shang-Tu, is owned by Teddy King, a gargantuan and threatening figure who lives a life of drugs and violence. While Garland seeks to contain Teddy's worst excesses, and tries to ensure that the guests are diving safely, Kim finds himself increasingly drawn to the dark side of the boat's temptations. As the partying continues, and threatens to consume Kim and overwhelm Garland, one of the other divers is lost at sea in what seems to be an accident. Back on dry land, Kim finds that the decisions you make in the moment can come back to haunt you, even follow you home. Brilliantly suspenseful, The Sea on Fire is a story about a man torn between responsibilities to his family and the freedom of the open water.


[Garland Rain has a golden cast on his right eye]


(Picador, 15 March 2012, 390 pages, paperback, copy from @AmazonUK #AmazonVine)



I'd never heard of the author before I decided to read this. I liked the cover and the blurb so thought I'd give it a shot. I'm so glad I did because I thoroughly enjoyed this one. There' something I really enjoyed about the way the author writes, his prose style is very impressive and I quickly got lost in the book. This is a literary thriller and the author perfectly balances both genres which don't immediately come to mind as good bed fellows. I know nothing about diving so really enjoyed the diving descriptions and references to be found here. I really enjoyed this as it offered something a bit different and outside my comfort zone.

Fire Howard Cunnell

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