One of the benefits of being an island nation is that it is rare to find anyone who has no fond memories of being by the seaside. Perhaps this is part of the appeal of Neil Arnold's Shadows on the Sea - we can avoid `haunted' dark buildings, but there is no escaping the mysteries of the oceans when they are so close to us.
The problem Arnold faces is the sheer scale of coastline associated with Britain - over eleven thousand miles. Combined with the multitude of different types of unusual activity Arnold is looking at (including ghosts, UFOs and cryptids), this one work could have easily been several volumes in length. Despite this challenge, Arnold flits effortlessly from county to county, digging out a range of colourful strangeness from Tennyson's ghost on the Isle of Wight to mermaids in Benbecula.
As expected from The History Press, Shadows is well illustrated with photographs throughout. Arnold's prose is cheerful, sometimes cynical, and never boring, with the author's interest in his subject matter apparent on each page.
With summer on the horizon, this is one to pack and digest while holidaying on the beach (or sheltering from the rain).