Saturday 5 February 2022

Sea State by J.M. Simpson Blog Tour

 I'm making it my mission this year to read as many books as I can by authors that I haven't heard of/read books by before.

And I've started off February with a novel by J.M. Simpson.

Sea State is the first in a new series from this author and fits well in the the mystery genre (with a bit of humour and romance thrown in for good measure.


Jesse Stevens needs to escape her past, start a new life and feel safe.”

The rugged coastline and tight-knit community of Castleby offers her that chance. Her new job with the local lifeboat crew gives her the stability and comfort she craves. Her skipper, Doug Brodie, faces his own demons. He is struggling with survivor’s guilt, physical and mental scars, and a marriage teetering on the brink.

Jesse is desperate to put aside the dark nightmares and terrible memories. As she and Doug grow closer, she wonders whether she can ever really live a normal life and be happy. But Jesse is in grave danger. Someone is watching her; trying to control and manipulate her life. Someone plans to make her life a living nightmare and return her to the hell she thought she had left behind. Will she ever be free?

What a great start to the Castleby series.

I have to say the blurb hooked me but the story that I just read is even better than what the back of the book promised!

There are two main protagonists.

We have Jesse Stevens, who is a young woman recovering from a huge trauma caused by her unstable and I guess she now knows, dangerous relationship with her then boyfriend, Chris. We find out that he is actually a police officer.

Jesse is trying to move on with her life, making herself see a psychiatrist to try and aid her in feeling safe again, able to go it alone. She has recently relocated to a new town (starting over) where she gets a job as a mechanic with the RNLI.  

Then there's Doug Brodie. The skipper working at the RNLI. This is a man who is struggling immensely with survivor’s guilt from a terrible accident at work. Dealing with both physical and mental scars, he is also navigating his way through troubles with his marriage.  

Someone seems to be watching Jesse and as she and Doug begin to grow ever closer, this leads to I guess what you'd call some sink or swim moments for the pair of them.

Tension galore!

I love Simpson's attention to detail. 

The descriptions of boat life, I could imagine so much so clearly. This fictional coastal town felt extremely real in my mind.

Everything had flaws, damage. It was this honesty that really made the tale something quite unique. Each part felt essential. I guess making way for more books in the series. 

Feelings of bravery and determination run deep in Sea State, there are some lose ends, some unresolved moments and with a great twist near the end, I for one cannot wait to read more from the Castelby series!


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