It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Emergency Drill by Chris Blackwater. ‘Shortlisted for the 2020 Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger award.’
About the Author
Chris Blackwater is a chartered engineer from Leeds. He began writing to entertain himself while working away on offshore oil platforms, power stations and shipyards. His career has taken him all over the world to many unusual locations and introduced him to some remarkable characters. His short stories have appeared in a variety of publications and anthologies.
In recent years Chris has gradually drifted down to the south coast of England where he now spends his spare time kayaking and sailing on the Solent.
About the book
Newly qualified offshore medic, Danny Verity, arrives on the Cuillin Alpha oil platform shortly before a storm damages the satellite system, severing the crew’s only mode of communication to the mainland.
It isn’t long before he is forced to carry out emergency surgery on an injured crewmate, whose accident he suspects was a result of sabotage, when another member of the crew disappears and yet another is attacked.
Then his casualty dies, and a sinister voice claiming to be that of the Pied Piper makes a threatening announcement on the PA system before Danny finds it damaged.
While the North Atlantic sea rages around them, Danny must find and stop the saboteur before anyone else gets hurt. But with no way of calling for help and unable to risk escaping on the lifeboats, it seems the crew are trapped aboard the platform with a killer.
If you have any intention on visiting or working on an offshore oil platform, then you might want to reconsider after reading this. It’s not exactly an advert for a safe workplace environment. Now, the fact it is actually a rather deadly and dangerous one makes this an invigorating read, but that’s another matter entirely.
I not sure Danny thought being an offshore medic would be so brutal or become complicated quite so fast as it does. Barely on board and the casualties start piling up, and it’s more than just an bad day on the platform – there appears to be someone with an axe to grind on the isolated platform, and they have only just gotten started.
The action packed plot and accurate description of the surroundings reminded me of a book written by the late Wilbur Smith. Hungry as the Sea has the same vivid and visceral connection to the sea. Blackwater draws from the isolation, the danger, the hunger of the waves, the weakness of man in comparison to nature. Then he draws a parallel between the power, the destructive power of technology, the platform itself and the people on the platform. Sea – man – platform. Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
It’s a great read full of action, although as I mentioned before, it might not be the best recruitment for working on offshore oil platforms.