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The Blurb

Was it murder, suicide or an accident? Who will be next to die?

Six international friends all appear to be successful, albeit to different levels. A human rights’ lawyer, an IT geek, a businessman, a waitress, a phone guy and a physiotherapist. None of them are known to the police. 

One of them must know what happened that fateful night on the catamaran.

Agent Georges Fournier is assigned the case in the French resort town near Antibes. He’s short on time, with a growing health problem and a District Attorney who just wants the case closed as accidental. But he’s not letting go.
Chrissie is a single mother and respected flight attendant in New York. When she finds out who her father is, she’s ecstatic and wants to meet him. 

But within a week she’d wish she’d never known.

My Review

I’d planned to have December blog tour free. When I heard the description of this book however from Emma Welton the Damppebblestours organiser, it intrigued me and I agreed to join the blog tour.

I’m so glad that I did because this book turned out to be one of THE best crime novels I’ve read this year!

With a contemporary take on an Agatha Christie novel where a crime has been committed in an enclosed place and can only have been committed by one of the people within a small group. In this case six people are gathered on board a catamaran in the south of France for a friendly trip. Two of them brothers Scott and Charlie, nephews of the owner, their plus ones Stella and Ana and husband and wife Len Hubbard, the catamaran owner and his wife Mia. One of them drowns and one person knows more than they let on and is both duplicitous and deceitful.

Skilfully plotted to the nth degree. The story is narrated by all of the characters, so we’re aware most of the time what is going on in each of their heads. The action backtracks and then builds up to events in the timeline so that when we eventually arrive at the part the author was leading up to we watch with an almost voyeuristic horror at how things are unfolding and of course are powerless to prevent the characters from making terrible mistakes or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When one of the characters on board the catamaran drowns, Georges Fournier the earnest but sometimes hapless French Gendarme is convinced that it’s murder, not an accident and investigates the case despite his bosses disapproval.

There are perilous journeys and chases across France, Switzerland and Holland. My heart was in my mouth as the events unfolded against a backdrop of beautiful scenery.

There is an almost surreal kind of slapstick dark humour with characters acting out of character, being in the wrong place at the wrong time and complicating matters to various extents.

I seriously LOVED this book! It’s very hard to believe that it’s a debut. It’s such a very clever read. Addictive and beautifully plotted. I love the way this author writes and can’t wait to see what he writes next.

Remember his name. This author is going places. OUTSTANDING book!

To Purchase on Amazon UK

About The Author

Berkshire born Simon Bower has spent his adult life global living. In 2018, his debut fiction work Dead in the Water was published in paperback and eBook by Middle Farm Press. 

He picked up many of the stimuli for Dead in the Water from his periods living in France, Holland and North America. An unfulfilled love of sailing inspired the fateful catamaran scenes on the Côte d’Azur, although in real life that was set on Australia’s East Coast, and no-one died. Time in the Philippines helped develop the Boracay chapters while the Oxford and London venues are his bread and butter. 

Simon’s a keen home chef and adores a slow cooked red curry – hot from the outset with a surprising kick in the tail. He despises being served up literary ready meals – warmed up quickly and predictably bland throughout…

Simon currently lives in France, near the Swiss border, where his young family, the mountains, acrylic paint and sharpened skis keep him in regular mischief. His influences and favourite authors include: Iain Banks, William Boyd, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Terry Hayes, Peter James, Dean Koontz, Peter May and Stieg Larsson.

Simon loves hearing from readers, through Amazon and Goodreads reviews, and @simonbowerbooks on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow the rest of the tour