Zooloo's Book Tours presents: From The Deep by Kateri Stanley
Here we are again on one of Zooloo's Book Tours. Today, I am looking at From the Deep by Kateri Stanley. As always it is a pleasure to be invited to participate on these tours, and if you are interested, check out some of the other tours that Zooloo's tours have organised.
Anyway, on with the book.
Julian Finch, widower and fisherman, awakes to learn that the bodies of two colleagues have washed up on the beach of Drake Cove. The close-knit community is under fierce public scrutiny due to a long-standing tradition called "The Culling", the annual slaughter of pilot whales for consumption. An act which divides the nation.
The suspects are the extreme animal rights group, the Fighters Against Animal Cruelty (FAAC) who go wherever the politics is trending. They've been harassing the small fishing town for many years, smashing up their boats and sending vicious hate mail.
Tensions mount after a viral video, uploaded by the FAAC of Julian killing a pregnant whale, causes uproar online and in real life. In the aftermath, Julian becomes the victim of hate crime. In order to avoid further life-threatening attacks, Julian and his daughter take refuge in the home of Frank Blothio: ex-fisherman turned writer and political activist who does not have the best history with the animal rights movement, or Drake Cove as a whole.
As Julian integrates into the Blothio way of life, he discovers heinous secrets and disturbing truths lurking beneath the skin of his hometown that will change his life forever.
To tell you the truth, there are certain mythological creatures that I tend to stay away from, not because I don’t like them, but because, quite simply, I am not that interested in them. Now I know that quite a lot of people like mermaids and whatnot, but unfortunately, not me! So why would I read this book then if all the other reviews mention that there are these forms of mythological creatures. Well, the simple reason is that whilst I am not interested in general, I do not dismiss them out of hand because each book you read has merit in its own right regardless of whether there are elements in it that you profess not to have an interest in! And, there is an old saying, never say never!
So, what was the pull of this book? There certainly was one, otherwise I wouldn’t have put myself forward for the tour. Well, quite simply put, I liked the sound of the other elements, there was the promise of crime solving, and there was the interesting aspect of the ethical consideration of the topics that are at the forefront of the book, which whilst distasteful did promise to raise interesting questions.
Now, I have to say that I found this book quite interesting. Kateri Stanley mixes in elements from a number of different elements, and I found that wanted to see how all this turned out.
The story revolves around Julian and his daughter Emily (or Em as she refers to in the book). Julian is a fisherman, and also hunts whales as part of a yearly tradition that has been handed down from the time of the Vikings. In addition to that we also learn that he is a widower, and that his wife died a year earlier leaving him to raise his teenage daughter on his own.
Entwined with their story, there is the story of two murders that have occurred in Blake’s Cove. These are two friends of Julian’s and also work for the company that he works for, which is owned by his good friend Mike. The murders hit the community hard.
On top of that there is the story of ‘The Culling’ which is violently opposed by an animal activist group called the FAAC (Fighters Against Animal Cruelty), an extremist animal rights organisation that will use any means to get their point across. One night Julian is threatened when a brick comes flying through his daughter’s window. As a result, he moves in with his boss’s former business partner, Frank Blothio and his strange niece, Shy.
Julian Is drawn to Shy as she is unlike anyone he has ever met. Meanwhile, whilst living with Frank, his world view is thrown into question, especially with his views on the culling of whales.
There are a lot of thigs going on in this book, and the book turned into something that I did not expect. Now, obviously there are the ethical consideration of the culling of whales and the role of tradition, even though it is abhorrent. In addition, there is the question of how to change hearts and minds, is it either with force or with education and measured arguments. With the FAAC, the extremism of the group has a counterproductive effect and forces the occupants of Blake’s Cove to become more steadfast in their resolve to continue with their traditions, whilst with Frank, who quietly shows his defiance of the tradition with facts, figures and education. Keteri Stanley explores both sides of the argument with equally measured arguments.
In addition to this is the murder mystery plot, a slice of life story and elements of romance. All of this works surprisingly well together, and it shows Kateri Stanley’s ability to write and keep all these other plates spinning.
The writing was pretty solid and whilst it took a good portion of the book for the aspects of the story to kick in, I was always wanting to find out what happens next.
As for the fantastical elements of the story, they never seemed out of place and seemed to organically mesh with the other parts of the story, which leads us to a brutal and fast paced finale. Furthermore, Kateri Stanley did something that I wasn’t quite expecting, she took a fantastical creature that I am not all that bothered about and made them interesting, which is pretty mean feat.
Follow her at:
Website : http://www.kateristanley.com