With a new dinghy, a committed sponsor and a place on the pre-Olympic training camp Xanthe Ribiero assumes that she’s set for success. Instead she finds herself disgraced and forced into hiding. She gets a job as a volunteer sailing instructor in a dead-end village on the Essex marshes. The feuding and old hatreds of the indigenous inhabitants are as muddy as their intertwining creeks and why are the children so pale and secretive? Xanthe is an outsider in Flinthammock - her landlady believes she is a witch - but hers is the clearer view that will finally reveal the truth.
Black Waters ranges from true stories of the Dunkirk evacuation to current anxieties around cyber-bullying. There are oystermen and drug barons, modern mass-produced sailing dinghies and bizarre WW1 prototypes. As with all Julia Jones’s stories the boundaries between fact and fiction are as permeable as the Essex coastline where this new volume is set. Readers young and old can be assured that the historical research has been meticulous and the creeks and rivers thoroughly explored.
Black Waters is a stand-alone title. However it can be seen as connecting particularly closely with Ghosting Home, volume 3 in the Strong Winds series. Each new book adds something more to the final denouement which will be complete in volume 7. Black Waters is a story of detection as much as adventure and the influence of Margery Allingham is as important as that of Arthur Ransome.
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