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A Fatal Tide

A Fatal Tide 1

by Steve Sailah
Paperback
Publication Date: 01/08/2014
5/5 Rating 1 Reviews
RRP  $32.99 $30.75
A powerful novel set in Gallipoli, that's part war-story and part mystery. 'Amid Gallipoli's slaughter he hunted a murderer . . .'

A powerful novel set in Gallipoli, that's part war-story and part mystery. 'Amid Gallipoli's slaughter he hunted a murderer . . .'

It is 1915 and Thomas Clare rues the day he and his best friend Snow went to war to solve the murder of his father.

The only clues - a hidden wartime document and the imprint of an army boot on the victim's face - have led the pair from the safety of Queensland to the blood-soaked hills of Gallipoli.

Now not only are Thomas's enemies on every side - from the Turkish troops bearing down on the Anzac lines, to the cold-blooded killer in his own trench - but as far away as London and Berlin.

For, unbeknown to Thomas, the path to murder began thirteen years earlier in Africa with the execution of Breaker Morant - and a secret that could change the course of history . . .
ISBN:
9780857984500
9780857984500
Category:
Crime & Mystery
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
01-08-2014
Publisher:
Transworld Publishers (Division of Random House Australia)
Country of origin:
Australia
Pages:
336
Dimensions (mm):
234x154x25mm
Weight:
0.45kg

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • War is murder

    by on

    An intriguing mystery set amongst the trenches of Gallipoli, A Fatal Tide is an impressive novel from debut author, Steve Sailah.

    Thomas Clare is just sixteen when he discovers his father's decapitated body under a tree in the paddock behind their home. The investigating Sergeant insists Constable First Class Jack Clare, a Boer war veteran, committed suicide, miscalculating the length of rope needed to hang himself, but it is obvious to Tubbie Terrier, an aboriginal tracker and family friend, that Jack was not alone when he died. A soldier's boot print on his father's face, and a hidden wartime document with a handwritten notation, are the only clues Thomas has to identify his father's killer and so with the idealism and optimism of youth, Thomas and his best friend Snow, enlist in the raging first World War to find Jack's murderer.

    " Oh, what an adventure it would be."

    A Fatal Tide tales place in perhaps one of the most unusual settings I have encountered in a mystery novel. Though it begins in the Queensland bush, the majority of the story is set in the trenches of Gallipoli barely a month after the historic ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Corps) landing in 1915.

    Sailah vividly illustrates what Thomas experiences after his arrival in Gallipoli. Like many of the men, and boys, who enlisted, Thomas and Snow had no real understanding of the horror of war, expecting adventure and easy victories, only to find themselves ankle deep in mud, corpses and gore, eating flyblown food, battling dysentery and under near constant enemy fire.

    It is only then that Thomas appreciates his naivete in going to war to search for the men who murdered his father, not that he is deterred, especially when it becomes obvious that the enemy lies not only across the wasteland of 'no man's land' but also somewhere amongst the trenches forged to protect him. Someone is desperate to recover the document in Thomas's possession which reveals the shocking truth about the events that led to the execution of 'Breaker' Morant thirteen years earlier in Africa.

    Despite the grim realities of circumstance, Sailah lightens the tone of the novel with a focus on the bonds formed between the men who fight side by side with Thomas and Snow, and the eccentricities of their characters - Teach, who spouts philosophy, and quick witted and loud mouth, Kingy. Humour also comes from Thomas and Snow's adulation of Sherlock Holmes and his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whom Sailah references often during the novel.

    Exploring the themes of duty, honour, mateship and humanity, Sailah weaves together a compelling story of war, friendship and murder in A Fatal Tide. It offers both an interesting mystery, and fascinating insight into the experiences of our Australian diggers in Gallipoli's trenches.