North Sea Rising by RM Cartmel **Blog Tour Author Post**
I am thrilled to welcome R M Cartmel to the blog today to celebrate the publication of his novel, North Sea Rising, on 16th August 2018. This is the second in his North Sea Noir series.
The year is 2039.
The setting is the British Isles – but not the British Isles as we know them today.
The brutal economic impact of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, together with the ever-accelerating effects of global warming have led to a very different environment indeed, in almost every way. Politics, geography and technology are all in flux.
But some things remain the same – greed, murder, conspiracy and corruption among them. When Stephanie Flack, licensed private eye in the Royal Province of Anglia, is asked to track down some missing diamonds, she soon finds the trail leading her into some very unexpected and highly dangerous places, with dead bodies appearing with alarming regularity. Including, very nearly, her own.
R.M. Cartmel’s skilful characterisation, sharp observation and quiet irony provide a glimpse into a future which we can almost recognise. A brilliant, gentle, wry dystopian murder mystery.
Here's the author to tell us about his inspiration behind the novel.
NORTH SEA RISING;- Why?
My last book was finished, as far as I was concerned, and while I awaited contacts from editors about rewrites I was surfing aimlessly and found an article on GLOBAL WARMING. The article included maps showing me the destruction that would occur to the world if the sea level rose by seven metres. I realized that the town where I live would be severely damaged by that, but cleverly the article said I could change the depth of sea level rise. When I set it at 4 metres and looked at the new East Anglia, the idea for a new book leapt out of the screen. At about the same time, I was also watching the Brexit negotiations with increasing disbelief. Even the most Europhobic Racist who hates every "frog, sprout, clog and kraut"*, surely could not have wanted the current chaos. So, triggered by the map and Brexit, the new book started.
A couple of years before I had written a standalone novel called 50 Miles from Anywhere, and in the first chapter of that book I had a girl gang-raped and the poor soul spent the rest of the book in ICU. Unlike many authors I feel a serious affinity for the characters who have appeared in my head, and I felt really guilty towards Steph, and knew that I owed her one. The cast of the new book produced half a dozen other characters from that first very different book, and I asked myself where might they be twenty years later. Steph had been to university and law school, and had come back to her home town. Siobhan, the perky Irish Uniformed PC who was Steph’s family worker in the first book, had risen in the police ranks and was now the police chief in a border town, and Adelina, the gangster’s popsy in the first book, had moved on to being his moll, then his wife, and when Uncle Lev died she became the new Boss.
The major difference in the feel of this book, North Sea Rising, is that heroine is Steph, and she is the ‘I’ and the narrative voice. I had never done that before. I may not be the first male author who has used the conceit of writing a 1st person singular female, but it’s the first time I’ve done it, apart from writing female characters in dramas and sketches in the 70s and 80s.
The plot is set in an Anglia that has separated from the rest of an England that is politically collapsing, and looking at the map it is blindingly obvious why that happened. The first 2 bits of the UK to go after Brexit, were Scotland, whose second referendum for independence was successful. At the same time while Scotland was dehiscing, Northern Ireland decided that they would be better off being linked with a popular Eire, rather than an England with whom nobody even wanted to talk. Over the next ten years, Wales, Wessex, and Anglia followed…. And twenty years from now that is the scenario for North Sea Rising…
*I think the owners of that phrase are Stiff Records!
About the Author
Following a highly successful career as a GP, RM Cartmel returned to his first love and took up writing again.
Well-known for his wine and crime series set in France, The Inspector Truchaud Mysteries, he also has a second, rather more offbeat series of North Sea Noir, which can be read as stand alone but connected novels, set in Peterborough. North Sea Rising is the second of these.
The Inspector Truchaud Mysteries: