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Dead in the Water Paperback – 29 Jul 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: YouWriteOn (29 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849234566
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849234566
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 769,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian Woolland worked as a van driver, a farm hand, a wine merchant and a photographer; as a teacher in mainstream education and in a therapeutic community for maladjusted adolescents before becoming an Advisory Teacher for Drama. He then took up a post at the University of Reading, where he led courses in educational drama and theatre. In 2005 he resigned his post as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Film, Theatre & Television in order to work freelance as a writer, theatre director and workshop leader. His work on Ben Jonson and his publications in the field of educational drama have been highly acclaimed. His plays have been widely performed. His first novel, Dead in the Water, was published in 2010; and he is currently working on a historical novel, The Gallows Cheat, a thriller/romance set in early seventeenth century London.

Website: http://www.brianwoolland.co.uk/

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anni on 28 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
I couldn't put this book down - it's pace and energy whisk you through a world of environmentlism versus corporate business, political rhetoric versus truth and integrity versus moral corruption. The beautifully seen characters lead you into a dark world where nothing is quite what it seems, with the climate already crumbling and where environmentalism is aligned with terrorism. Brian Woolland has created a contemporary yet future vision of what might be (or are we there already?) with a tale that twists and turns at every chapter. As with all good novels, it ended way before I wanted it to, and the characters and storyline are still in my head. More please.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mike James on 25 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
The opening of this thriller is truly shocking. A murderous unprovoked attack on a Venezuelan rainforest village, observed and filmed by a young Rachel Boyd in a stunned reportage style lending even greater veracity and impact to the outrage. The narrative never flags, moving between the rainforest, Caracas, London and Oxford, a coalition Government, intelligence organisations, big business, eco-terrorists and globally warmed freak British weather.
Throughout, the reader has the uneasy feeling that he is not being let in on everything, only what others want him to know - its the real world! Brian Woolland has produced a rattling good thriller but at no time does he sacrifice character for the sake of plot. The main protagonists, the idealistic Rachel, her father Mark, the environmental radical-turned-government advisor, the emotionally confused Jeremy, have the ring of truth - no superheroes here - flawed, uncertain of themselves, their motives and their relationships. The strength of the book is in this very uncertainty. The reader is caught up in the plot twists and turns along with the main characters - who do you believe? Anybody? Nobody? This is a very modern novel - not wrapped neatly with explanatory bows. It challenges you to deal with its (and our) uncertain and mendacious world. I had the pleasure of reading this novel "back to back" with William Boyd's Ordinary Thunderstorms, another thriller by one of the very best British writers of the last thirty years. It speaks volumes for Woolland that Dead in the Water stands comparison with Thunderstorms and (speak it softly) in some respects outdoes Boyd particularly in its absence of "contrivance" to chivvy the plot along. A truly remarkable achievement in a first novel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Fern on 3 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. Brilliant, I said as I reluctanly read the last sentence. It is so difficult to find a book you keep wanting to get back to but this has it. It is also very well written, full of suspense, excellently researched and this from sombody who doesn't read thrillers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Margaret D. Jefferies on 27 May 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a really pacey thriller - an ideal bedtime read for those who do not wish to sleep and those who like a compelling and orginal combination of politics, sociological/environmental issues and changes of location. Written in small chapters, each chapter building in suspense upon the previous one and largely alternating between London and various locations in Venezuela, it makes for easy and magnetic reading.

Each party in the environmental preservation/climate change debate seems to have some right on its side, yet the methods of some in pursuing their aims can be highly questionable, not least those of politicians and 'do-gooders.' Add to this mix, villains who do not care for the rights of individuals and indigenous groups and you have the recipe for a haunting vision of what can happen when those in political power take their eye off the ball or, worse, have their fingers in the wrong type of pie.

Highly topical, hinting of tomorrow's problems rooted in today's issues, this book is an absolute must-have.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Annie on 15 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
I am an inveterate reader of thrillers and detective fiction. However I am increasingly becoming frustrated by the formulaic nature of some of the writing in these genres. Additionally there is sometimes a lack a lack of credibility in terms of keeping at least a part of the reader's reality rooted in a particular narrative structure. Dead in the Water meets all my criteria for believability, pace and edge-of-the-seat tension. This is a novel with an elegantly structured plot with sub-plots interwoven into a fast-paced story, laced with characters facing difficult decisions and dilemmas. Most striking for me and indeed believable is the ecological activist turned politician whose involvement with politics, (a coalition government - how prescient), transforms his ideals into compromise at best and a looming sense of selling out at worst. Central to this character's political dilemmas and the engine which powers the contradictions at the centre of his existence are relationships and family politics, which complicate his life and which rapidly escalate into a series of desperate measures in order to avoid catastrophe. This is the first thriller which I have read for while which gave me sleepless nights as I was reluctant to put it down. Dead in the Water is a wonderfully well-written book with detail which adds complexity and depth to a subject which should be at the centre of all our politics if life as we know it is to have any chance of survival. I think this is a fantastic debut novel. I sincerely hope the author writes more in the style of this book as the genre benefits from this kind of intelligent deconstruction of issues into a great story without becoming didactic or long-winded. Indeed the novel feels quite short and so a sequel would indeed be welcome perhaps re-visiting some of the main characters, events and issues some time after the `explosive' ending of the book.
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