shortlisted for book of the month
England and the Pacific Ocean
Ben Dearlove, an aspiring writer, rescues an ill woman from an angry mob at a Covent Garden theatre performance and sees her safely back to her impoverished lodgings. A month later the whole city is abuzz with praise for a spectacularly successful book An Account of a Voyage to the Fair Land. It’s about a voyage to an imaginary land in the Southern Ocean but the author is anonymous: even the publisher doesn’t know who it is. Ben takes on the challenge of uncovering the mystery, with the hope that this will secure his financial future. The trail leads him back to the lodgings of the unknown woman, only to find she has vanished and her lodgings have been ransacked.
The story races along with danger at every turn. Where is the woman, and who is she? Why has the Admiralty sent thugs to find her? Who are the people behind a missing ship, the Miranda? Murder is done, vital artefacts are stolen, danger stalks in unexpected places. The plot thickens but Ben is determined to find answers.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s well written, the descriptions are graphic and engaging, the writing is tight and well done, and the story is a page turner. Boyce brings the period to life with excellent dialogue and fast paced action. An excellent read and an author I’ll be watching out for.
Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds
© Robyn Pearce