Dead Water floats the Irish Times’s boat

Dead Water sails into that stormiest of seas, the Indian Ocean, to explore the murky depths of the shipping business along with those of its latter-day evil twin, piracy. In this highly ambitious, hugely entertaining novel – part sci-fi fable, part cold-war mystery, part ghost story, part hymn to the complexity of wave theory – Ings weaves multiple plots together, plunging the reader into a vortex of countercurrents from the opening page. The choppiness is dizzying, perhaps even irritating. Stick with it, though. You’ll be rewarded with such engaging characters as Roopa Vish, the Indian police probationer who ends up in bed with the gangster she’s investigating, and Eric Moyse, the shipping magnate who comes up with a wheeze for hiding the planet’s most toxic substances. The locations, from rambunctious Mumbai to odd Oman, are portrayed with visceral vividness, and so is the action, which includes a train crash and a tsunami. After reading this, you’ll never drink water with quite the same insouciance again.

ARMINTA WALLACE in the Irish Times, 16 June 2012

3 thoughts on “Dead Water floats the Irish Times’s boat

  1. Simon – as a longtime fan (I stumbled across Hotwire buried among old Readers Digests and Christian self-help books in a second hand bookstore in a conservative Afrikaner holiday resort) I have to say Dead Water is stupendous. I don’t think the reviews do justice to it. Thank you.

  2. Thanks so much! I’d love to know the journey that copy of Hotwire took (he says, shamelessly craving not so much an internet of things as an internet of vanity mirrors).

  3. It was almost as serendipitous as discovering Neuromancer in a pile of junk (used hypodermic needles, etc etc) under a mattress in a vacated room in a squat in London in 1988. Some books come to find me :)

    Waiting patiently for *Wolves* to come out now….

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