The Blood Dimmed Tide – Anthony Quinn
London at the dawn of 1918 and Ireland’s most famous literary figure, WB Yeats, is immersed in supernatural investigations at his Bloomsbury rooms.
Haunted by the restless spirit of an Irish girl whose body is mysteriously washed ashore in a coffin, Yeats undertakes a perilous journey back to Ireland with his apprentice ghost-catcher Charles Adams to piece together the killer’s identity.
Surrounded by spies, occultists and Irish rebels, the two are led on a gripping journey along Ireland’s wild Atlantic coast, through the ruins of its abandoned estates, and into its darkest, most haunted corners.
Falling under the spell of dark forces, Yeats and his ghost-catcher come dangerously close to crossing the invisible line that divides the living from the dead.
Thanks to Clare at No Exit Press for my review copy.
I may be showing my age (and cultural reference points) but when I considered The Blood Dimmed Tide and its supernatural forces, an investigative detective, some political conspiracy and a cast that all seem to have a secret to keep I could not help but think: X-Files. I was a big fan so despite The Blood Dimmed Tide being nothing like the X-Files there were all the right elements to keep me entertained.
At the heart of the story we have Charles Adams, an apprentice ghost-catcher who travels from London to Ireland to investigate the death of an Irish girl whose body washed ashore inside a coffin. Before her death the girl had written to a Society of paranormal investigators (to which Adams and poet WB Yeats belong) advising she feared for her life.
We follow Adams on his journey from London and from the outset of his trip he learns of the political turbulence in Ireland and it becomes clear that his loyalty to the King may cause him problems. Indeed once Adams arrives in Ireland the political factions become a key part of the story and we see how Adams, somewhat innocently, takes everyone at face value when there are clearly power games at play.
Anthony Quinn writes beautifully and he really captures the essence of the lonely Irish landscapes which feature heavily throughout the book. The remote setting is what makes much of the book unsettling and mysterious. I had a real empathy with the characters who believed spi
rits were among them and trying to send messages from the other side.
As the story develops the murder becomes just one of a series of plot threads which Quinn interweaves rather neatly. Not one time do we dwell too long on a single area, the story moves along at a nice pace keeping various elements ticking over and ever-drawing the characters towards the final revelation.
I found plenty of intrigue in The Blood Dimmed Tide and hope that Charles Adams features in another story at some future point. As this was the first book in a trilogy I can but hope.
The Blood Dimmed Tide is available now and is published by No Exit Press.