Sea Shaken 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       September 30, 2022


Author  JM Simpson

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9798849110790
Publisher:         Independant
Release Date:   October 2022  


Those who have followed the Castleby Series from JM Simpson would have been waiting with a degree of urgency for the next book in the series, Sea Shaken, to discover what has happened in Castleby since the final shattering chapter of Sea Change, when Jesse plunged off a cliff at the hands of her murderous, psychopath husband Chris.

In Sea Shaken JM Simpson has certainly created her best yet, as she carefully brings together the many strands of life in the small seaside town, weaving a tapestry of tangled lives, loves, shattered dreams and hope.

Stepping straight back into the town the feeling is one of returning home after time spent away, wondering what has happened and what is new. As the pages unfold the pace picks up with the focus more on the people of the town rather than the lifeboat crew, as has been in the previous books.

Dr Kate Cooper, newly returned to Castleby to help her father in his medical practice, and long-time friend of Sophie, also introduces a larger role for Inspector Steve Miller, as he and Kate add a fresh segment to the township and one that like all small towns, everyone knows about before they do!

Sam, Sophie’s husband has finally been found and bought home to England, a shattered man, both mentally and physically. He does not want to continue living as he is and cannot see a future ahead, even with the love of Sophie, his son Marcus and the support of the military machine. Through this aspect of the story, attention is drawn to the struggle men and women of the Military and their families face once they return to ‘civilian’ life after serving overseas; broken, damaged and unable to cope.

Running throughout is the very intriguing thread of unexplained deaths in Nursing homes which as time goes on increases. Between the chapters are the diary notes of the killer, but who is it, the very obvious or not?

Naturally there are still body parts galore, slightly gruesome but adding a certain something to the plot, lies, counter lies, drug smuggling, the local mafia and the hapless Jimmy Ryan involved up to his ears in trouble.

While life seems to be settling down at last for Doug and Jesse, JM Simpson has added a cruel twist to keep readers on the edge of their armchairs trying to work out what next for this hapless couple.

Is Sea Shaken the final story in the Castleby series or not? Maybe there could be another one in the waiting, but that is just a wild guess, as JM Simpson has very, very cleverly left a few strings hanging that certainly could see another book in the making.

Get settled in a comfy chair and enjoy to the very last page the latest instalment from the families of Castleby in Sea Shaken.