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Thursday 4 January 2018

‘Rocastle’s Vengeance’ by James Morley

Published by Benhams Books.
ISBN: 978-0-95488801-5 (PB)

Set in 1997, Peter Wilson, an out of work Sea Captain, is approached to take on the role of Harbour Master at the fictional town of Duddlestone, Dorset.

The harbour, a strategic British Naval base during WW2 is being restored and when Peter arrives he finds out that his father was once the harbour’s war time commander. The area is steeped in secrets dating back to that time and his own family history comes under scrutiny as Peter is forced to revisit his father’s suicide, an incident he witnessed at the age of 10. He begins to question what he has been told about his father and whether rumours that he was involved in smuggling at the end of the war contain any truth. A series of strange events make Peter Wilson begin to wonder what is going on at the harbour now and he is drawn deep into the mystery. What happened at the end of the war appears to be influencing the present and the police seem to have their hands tied. When two children are kidnapped Peter is required to act as go-between and puts his own life in danger.

The experiments of WW2 in the bunkers under Porton Down and the secrecy surrounding Government activity of the time, and today, are the basis for this novel. Told first person, Rocastle’s Vengeance is a complex story that weaves between secrets of the past and present as the tight-knit community of Duddlestone, and neighbouring Military base, struggle to keep control.

A thoroughly enjoyable novel set around a sailing background. The character of Peter Wilson is believable and the landscape setting a key part of the story. Although initially a gentle read, the plot has numerous twists and turns, and the body count soon rises as anyone who gets too close to the truth is at risk.
Reviewer: Christine Hammacott

James Morley sis a local author, writing books under the name Benham's Sea Mysteries. Retired from an agricultural background Jim has been writing books since 2005. He is well known in the local area for his novels, short stories and publicity writing. He is chairman of Petersfield Writers’ Circle, and an active member of his local book club. Jim lives in Liss in Hampshire, a widower, in an untidy house filled with books and computers. Jim is a member of the UK Society of Authors, and Mystery People.

Christine Hammacott lives near Southampton and runs her own design consultancy. She started her career working in publishing as a book designer and now creates covers for indie-authors. She writes page-turning fiction that deals with the psychological effects of crime. To read a review of her debut novel The Taste of Ash click on the title.

twitter: /ChrisHammacott

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