Tenacity: Naval Toasts – Tuesday to “Our Men”
Tenacity by J. S. Law was one of my top reads of 2015. It made the Top Three and in my review I said “I don’t remember being this captivated by a debut novel since Lee Child published Killing Floor” it is that good!
To celebrate the paperback release of Tenacity (Thursday 21st April) we are having a Naval Toasts Blog Tour. Tuesday is the toast to “Our Men” so charge your glass while I pass this to Mr Law:
If you’ve followed my blog tour, you’ll already know that at mess dinners in the Royal Navy, immediately after the Loyal Toast of ‘The Queen’, the youngest officer present will normally offer the traditional drinking toast of that day.
The toast for Tuesday is traditionally “Our Men”. This toast was changed in 2013 by the then Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral David Steel, to become “Our Sailors”, to rightly reflect the contribution of females at sea, though the traditional toast is still widely used.
It takes a certain personality type to function on a submarine and there are those who can do it, and those who enjoy it. The one thing I still enjoy is the camaraderie with like-minded people. The vast majority of my friends are either Navy/submariners, or are connected to the Navy and the forces in some way, and that shows in their acceptance of very dark ‘gallows’ humour that the armed forces is well known for.
But it also takes a certain type of person to leave their family for extended periods, bearing in mind that on submarines, there may be no, or very little contact at all for weeks and months on end. It tests relationships at home and on board, and submariners very quickly have to learn how to live in very close proximity to each other, but still to give each other space when needed – knowing when it’s time to have a joke and when it’s time to back away and leave someone alone.
When Dan boards HMS Tenacity, she states to John that she thinks getting away from people will be her biggest problem, given the physical confines of the submarine, but she quickly realises that these men on Tenacity are tightly bonded by their experiences and that even when she is surrounded by a hundred men inside the ship’s hull, she can still be made to feel very, very alone…
Two hundred metres below the surface,
she will have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
A sailor hangs himself on board a naval submarine. Although ruled a suicide Lieutenant Danielle Lewis, the Navy’s finest Special Branch investigator, knows the sailor’s wife was found brutally murdered only days before.
Now Dan must enter the cramped confines of HMS Tenacity to interrogate the tight-knit, male crew and determine if there’s a link.
Standing alone in the face of extreme hostility and with a possible killer on board, Dan soon realises that she may have to choose between the truth and her own survival.
The pressure is rising and Dan’s time is running out…