It is the summer of 1964 during the Far Eastern war euphemistically called ‘Confrontation’. A British Royal Marine patrol has orders to penetrate Indonesian Borneo to locate a river thought by Allied intelligence to be being used by the Indonesians to build up supplies before launching a major attack on Sarawak. Charged with this mission, Lieutenant Charles Kirton makes a most extraordinary discovery amid the dense mangrove swamps bordering river in Borneo. Not only does this discovery enable Kirton to fulfil his mission but it is quite coincidentally intensely personal and unpleasantly macabre. From this highly-charged opening sequence, the story flashes back a century to 1867, revealing the truth behind this strange event, when young Henry Kirton, Second Officer of the auxiliary steam-ship River Tay, is dumped ashore in Singapore, badly injured by a fall in the rigging of his ship. Woodman’s compelling tale has echoes of Joseph Conrad.
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October 2021 : USA Hardback