Maureen Ellis is a keen reader in the crime genre. She regularly posts on Goodreads.com
The Salt Marsh is set
during the Cold War in Britain, a time period that in itself, gives added
dimension to a novel.
There is an eclectic mix of spies, criminals, drug
dealers, and hitmen. Then there are the locations - Dungeness with its power
station and salt marshes - the flat, often bleak, windswept landscapes of
Norfolk and Kent - and finally London - each of these locations adding depth
and atmosphere to the storyline. Then, thrown into this mix are ancient
superstitions, witchcraft, spells and curses. With all these threads combined,
makes for a truly unique narrative.
Sam Coyle's father, Jim, was an undercover agent.
This was something that he kept completely separate from his family life.
However, as a young girl, Sam becomes unwittingly involved in the dark and
secretive world that he operates in, on what was supposed to be a treat for
her. During a visit to a fair with her father, she notices a man watching them,
and Jim suddenly takes flight, leaving her alone. The man approaches her, and
makes it clear he knows who her father is. This day will haunt her in so many
ways, well into the future.
Some years later, Jim is dead, and Sam's boyfriend
Luke goes missing. She is determined to find him, and her investigations
ultimately reveal revelations about Jim's undercover work, and also the events
that led to his death.
This was really well-written, with a very unique
storyline. The characters are strong and mostly believable, I say mostly,
because I couldn't quite get my head around the 'crying hitman'. The locations
were superb, and well-chosen to give added flavour and depth to this absorbing