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Monday 20 May 2024

Hidden Depths by JH Mann

 Cover of the book Hidden Depths by JH Mann as featured on IsThisMutton.com

Dear friends. The wild and savage Cornish coast is the setting for today's evocative thriller, Hidden Depths. It's my day on the blog tour. 

The Story

On a wild Cornish headland, Catherine Carlyon takes a decision which will change her life forever. She is facing the bleak prospect of years in prison after being sucked into a fraud by a man she thought loved her. Catherine has found a possible way out - to disappear. But disappearing comes at a price. She must abandon her family and everything she holds dear. The greatest challenge of her life is looming, an epic adventure which will take her to her limits and beyond.

Blog tour dates for the publication of Hidden Depths by JH Mann, in the spotlight at Is This Mutton

My Thoughts

I was new to this author and I enjoyed the precise, well written prose and the beautiful Cornish setting. 

Catherine, a detail-obsessed finance controller, is 47. Her husband, a journalist,  has been made redundant  (although no companies ever use that description these days).  Jobs are few and far between: all the other media outlets are also letting people go. So her husband falls into a drink fuelled pity fugue. Meanwhile a colleague, Derek,  has shown interest in Catherine, and she revives like a flower drooping in the desert.

Unfortunately she gets sacked into Derek's fraud idea, and it soon becomes an even worse problem when blackmail becomes involved. 

She starts preparing a way out. Her preparation is largely covered in the middle of the story, and only briefly towards the end, except for the timeline ticking away.

As someone who's also detail obsessed, I worried about whether she'd have a driver's licence to affect a getaway, or a National Insurance number to get work. 

The ending leaves us wondering,  but I'm sure the takeout is positive.  I would liked to have seen more time devoted to Catherine's epic adventure: a 28 mile swim. It seemed very compressed for what is, we find out later,  a rare achievement. 

I liked Catherine and in particular the way she called out her boss at times. I admired her determination to find out were Derek had gone when no-one else seemed bothered.  But boy did her curiosity put her in some tight spots! 

There's an unexpected twist plus some thrilling action as Catherine thinks she's being followed on a remote coastal path, in zero visibility.  It sent shivers up the spine. 

About the Author

J.H.(Jason) Mann is an award-winning journalist and writer living in the South West of England. He says, 'Many of my stories are set in the wonderful county of Cornwall where truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction. I have swum and surfed there much of my life. It has always been a special place for me with its legends, soaring cliffs, rugged moors and wild seas. The landscape has a raw, mystical magic. 

'My father and mother's recollections of rescues and tragedies on the North coast are often the inspiration for my stories. My father became one of the county's early lifeguards after his predecessor was killed by a strike of lightning while standing in waist-deep water. '

Visit his website

Visit his Amazon Shop



Thanks to Rachel Gilbey from Rachel's Random Resources and JH Mann for the advance copy of Hidden Depths in return for an honest review. 

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