The Sea on Fire

by Howard Cunnell (Picador) ISBN: 978447202400

 

Kim feels most at home in the sea. He lives in London, but when his friend Garland asks him to join him as a dive instructor on a boat in the Red Sea, he doesn’t think twice.

 

He leaves his wife and three daughters behind to become a waterman- ‘a free voyager in inner space’- again. ‘The sea illuminated with the golden light I wanted to live in for ever. Under the brilliant surface of the water I could hide from a world I couldn’t believe in.’

 

Kim can’t resist the temptations: a beautiful girl, drugs and booze. Then the trip turns into a nightmare. Teddy King, the owner of the yacht, is a mirror of the demons of his past that haunt him. An accident happens, and Kim is forced to act.

 

This second novel by Cunnell is suspenseful, unpredictable and you won't be able to put it down. I found out more about the history of diving than I ever knew. The descriptions of the magical underwater world are accurate and captivating. The characters are well rounded and you can relate to Kim and Garland, despite their flaws.

 

This is the perfect holiday book: intelligent and entertaining. Highly recommended.

 

Pauline Vijverberg

4/5

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