ARC Review: Irex

Irex is the debut novel of indie author Carl Rackman. It is a moody, slow burn adventure and mystery story that's heavy on atmospherics and character. 

The book, a well crafted historical fiction, takes its inspiration from the true story of the 1890 wreck of the Irex, a steel hulled sailing freighter, at the Isle of Wight. Six lives were lost including that of the captain. (You can learn more about the actual wreck here or here.) 

The action in the book moves back and forth between the unfolding events onboard the Irex that lead up to the wreck, and the secret danger and intrigue surrounding the inquest afterwards. It seems that the Irex, along with its freight, had three passengers on board. Two of those passengers are not who they seem, but the captain of the ship soon uncovers their secrets. 

We learn what happened on board the ship, and who these mysterious passengers really are, along with Frederick Blake, the county coroner charged with completing the inquest. He persists despite the powerful forces from within the British ruling class that are brought to bear in an attempt to disrupt his investigation and influence the outcome of his inquest.

If you are a fan of British mystery stories like you might see on PBS Masterpiece, you'll no doubt enjoy this book. I am not typically a fan of historical fiction but I liked this one quite a lot because of the mystery. It's a bit unusual because it's not a who-done-it mystery - we know who the bad guy is almost from the moment he enters the picture. The real mystery here is whether he'll get away with it. And we don't know the answer to that until almost the very end.

RATING: Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

NOTE: I was provided a review copy of this book - thanks to the author - as part of a book tour put together by the team at TheWriteReads. You can find more book spotlights and reviews by following the team on Facebook.

Purchase Irex here:

📙 Available in paperback or as a Kindle e-book on Amazon

📗 Get the e-book for Kobo, Barnes & Noble Nook and other e-readers at Lulu or Smashwords

Title: Irex

Author: Carl Rackman

Publisher: Rackman Books

Publish Date: September 25, 2016

ISBN-13: 9780244710484

Publisher’s List Price: N/A