I have the honor to be a founding associate of this maritime writing cooperative, and am delighted that Alaric Bond has opted to be published under the Old Salt Press umbrella.
As David Hayes, of Historic Naval Fiction, has announced:
This exciting new project will be enhanced by the news that Alaric Bond's new novel, outside his Fighting Sail series, is to be published by them. Turn a Blind Eye will be available worldwide Autumn 2013.
"Autumn, 1801. Newly appointed to the local revenue cutter, Commander Griffin is determined to make his mark, and defeat a major gang of smugglers. But the country is still at war with France and it is an unequal struggle; can he depend on support from the local community, or are they yet another enemy for him to fight?
With dramatic action on land and at sea, Turn a Blind Eye exposes the private war against the treasury with gripping fact and fascinating detail."
Both Ron and I had the pleasure of reading the manuscript of this book, and both enjoyed it mightily. As Ron said, It is a page-turner. I particularly liked the evocative setting, the beautifully described coast of Sussex ... infamous haunt of pirates and smugglers.
A meticulous historian, Bond does not romanticize the smugglers or their stealthy trade. Instead, he describes the damage they did to the economy of Britain during the war with Napoleon -- the sheer scope and nerve of their activities; how they traded extravagantly with the enemy, carrying scarce bullion over the Channel and coming back with luxury goods. The job of a revenue man was a tough and exciting one indeed, particularly when that man was based in a shoreside village where the smuggling gangs ruled with bribery and force.
All the personalities in the book are well rounded and real, and Captain Griffin is particularly so. If I was to fall in love with one of the characters, though, it would be with the revenue cutter Bee...