Recent Events

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

‘The Rising Tide’ by Patrick Easter

Published by Quercus,
11 September 2014.
ISBN: 978-1-78087-763-1
This is a historical thriller set in London in 1799. The ex-naval officer Tom Pascoe has become a river policeman and, in the course of his duties, he finds a 'floater' in the Thames. The body turns out to be that of an MP who is an ally of the PM William Pitt.

The burning issue of the day is the need for anti-slavery legislation and there are threats to Pitt and his supporter, William Wilberforce.

Pascoe is in mourning for Peggy the woman he loved who had been killed by an enemy of Pascoe.
He had tried to forget his loss by crawling into the bottom of a bottle therefore his work is suffering. He must recover his abilities if he is to solve the case of murder and retain his job. The situation is complicated by his growing belief that an old enemy from France is in a London.

The atmosphere of London that is conveyed is the pungent one down by the river in malodorous slums and the dangerous one even for those living at a higher level. The background is totally convincing and the story grows out of the attitudes of the day.
Reviewer: Jennifer Palmer

Patrick Easter  was born in Cyprus, the son of a colonial police officer, and lived there until the age of 12, when he was sent ‘home’ to school in England. With the outbreak of the EOKA troubles in 1956, life was to change quite radically. The free and easy life the family had known was now to disappear and they were compelled to live behind rolls of barbed wire and travel everywhere with an armed escort. Patrick’s father was, for a time, at the top of the EOKA ‘hit list’ and he carried a loaded firearm wherever he went.
At 19 Patrick joined the Metropolitan Police in London and three years later went onto the river. The headquarters of Thames Division, the Metropolitan Police (now known as the Marine Support Unit) was, and remains, at 259 Wapping New Stairs – the same address from which Tom Pascoe and Sam Hart used to leave and return in the exercise of their duties. By the middle of the 20th Century, much of the crime that Tom Pascoe had to deal with had disappeared, along with the river traffic. Even the docks were a shadow of their former selves and although long strings of lighters continued to go up and down the river, their day had passed as trade moved down river to Tilbury. In their place came the colliers with fuel for the power stations, the small coastal vessels from Holland and Germany and, of course, the pleasure traffic, each bringing its own problems and solutions. Patrick finally left the river on promotion and finished his service at New Scotland Yard  with a policy portfolio that included – yes, you’ve guessed it – Thames Division. On leaving the police service in 1994, he became a journalist chasing deadlines for technical magazines and articles in national newspapers. He still writes, full time, but now concentrates on his novels. He lives in Sussex with his wife and a Boxer dog, working out of a Victorian pump-house, complete with its own well and pumping machinery, in the grounds of his home.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

No comments:

Post a Comment