Sunday, 19 May 2019

A Matter of Latitude by Isobel Blackthorn


Title: A Matter of Latitude
Author: Isobel Blackthorn
Genre: Mystery-Thriller
Publication Date: December 2018


From the acclaimed author of The Drago Tree comes a riveting thriller about survival, revenge and long-hidden secrets.

When local Lanzarote anti-corruption activist, Celestino, is T-boned on a lonely stretch of road, he knows the collision was no accident.

Wounded and fearing for his life, he hides in an abandoned fishing village, waiting for a chance to make it home. Meanwhile his wife, English expat Paula, is distraught. Her pursuit of answers is deflected when her neighbor, troublesome retiree Shirley Mobad, co-opts Paula on her escapades around the Canary Islands.

Paula’s search for her husband quickly descends into mayhem, danger and intrigue. Before long, she realizes she’s being followed. She needs answers, and fast.

But where is Celestino, and will he ever make it back alive?


"A Matter of Latitude simmers with danger, betrayal and treachery, drawing the reader into the island’s history of shady dealings and uneasy relationships between natives, tourists and expats... Isobel Blackthorn has crafted an atmospheric and setting-rich novel with alluring lyrical style." – Sandi Wallace, award-winning crime fiction author


My Review:

This steadily paced crime thriller, set on the Spanish island of Lanzarote, has three narrators:

The majority of the book is written from Paula Diaz's point of view. Paula is an English ex-pat, now living in Haria with her husband, local man Celestino, and the three-year-old daughter, Gloria. Paula's parents have also moved to the island to be near their family. Gloria spends most of the book staying with her Grandparents while Paula searches for Celestino, digs around for clues to his disappearance, and is cleverly distracted by Shirley, another ex-pat.

We also spend time with Celestino as he attempts to evade his would-be murderer, tries to avoid being attacked by a wild dog, and struggles to return home.

The third narrator writes about Richard, an author and another ex-pat, as he goes on his reluctant adventures on the island in pursuit of a plot and setting for his new book.

A Matter of Latitude is a mystery that also highlights the corruption and the destructive influence of tourism on the small island. The writing captures the characters relationships to each other and the idyllic setting of Lanzarote. An interesting read that kept me guessing.



Author Bio:

Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of original fiction across a range of genres, including psychological thrillers, gripping mysteries, captivating travel fiction and hilarious dark satire.

Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism for her ground-breaking study of the texts of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey. Her engagement with Alice Bailey's life and works has culminated in the biographical novel, The Unlikely Occultist.

Isobel carries a lifelong passion for the Canary Islands, Spain, her former home. Many of her novels are set on the islands, including The Drago Tree, which was released in 2015 and is now in Spanish translation, Clarissa's Warning and A Matter of Latitude. These novels are setting rich and fall into the broad genre of travel fiction, and the novels are as much stories about the islands themselves as they are straight-ahead entertainment.

Isobel has led a rich and interesting life and her stories are as diverse as her experiences, the highs and lows, and the dramas. Some of her writing is dark, like the psychological thriller, Twerk, which is based on six years of research and first-hand accounts of dancers working in what are euphemistically called gentlemen's clubs.

A life-long campaigner for social justice, Isobel has written, protested and leant her weight to a range of issues including family violence. A Londoner originally, Isobel currently lives near Melbourne, Australia.



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