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Chris High books reviewed

Cut Adrift - Chris Simms

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Orion
ISBN-10: 1409111075
ISBN-13: 978-1409111078

13 May, 2010

Front cover of the book 'Cut Adrift' written by Chris Simms

Tight as a wetsuit, Cut Adrift is compelling evidence that Chris Simms’ star is certainly in the ascendency.


DI Jon's Spicer's investigation into the vicious slaying of a Russian asylum-seeker grinds to a halt when the man's identity turns out to be false. It seems the only truth to his story was the fact he was found drifting off the British coast in a small boat.

Before the man's true identity can be discovered, more asylum-seekers start to die - each murdered in the same horrific way. By the time Spicer realises what links the men, he knows there's a trained assassin at large who's desperate to guard a secret of enormous magnitude. And all the while, a series of heartbreaking and enigmatic messages are being found after drifting in from the sea - slowly revealing the horrific plight of a group of refugees trapped on a raft.

With Spicer’s personal life and career at odds, the most noticeable aspect in terms of the writing  in Cut Adrift is the author’s evident conviction in the situations he creates for all of his characters; all of which is backed up by extremely well researched material that carries the story without ever impinging on its pace. Added to this are the major roles he allows his peripheral characters to play in the telling of the whole rather than the sum of the story and so adds a depth and “realness” that goes beyond the norm.

Some authors hit a peak with their creations, will occasionally try a stand-alone that doesn’t really work, then miss the baton altogether when its time to come around for another lap. Not so Simms, as this, his sixth novel featuring Spicer, is proof if proof were needed that here is an author who simply gets further and further beneath the skin of his characters – and what they face – and brings them to life with exemplary skill.





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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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