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on 18 May 2014
Salt is a post-apocalyptic murder mystery come thriller amidst a slightly different backdrop than most in this genre, the world has drowned, the only land visible being the highest peaks of the world and a whole host of problems for humanity who survive on an island of boats lashed together to a half sunken cruiser at the Orizaba peak of Mexico.

On board a host of desperate characters from the captain and his crew, a London gangster contingent and an ex-cop right down to a bunch of religious nutcases.

Their very existence is bought under question when murder hits the flotilla, with no lack of suspects, Eva must investigate as tensions rise and loyalties are challenged, who can she trust?
An excellent mystery with some surprise twists to the plot that on the whole feel fresh and a totally different direction to the horror novella Dead Fives Pass from the same author, both stories of which I enjoyed.
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on 11 May 2014
I should start by saying I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this in kindle format before general release in return for an honest review.

It's very different from ' The Techxorist' series, but has similarly strong characters that are likeable.

When I started the book, my first thought was that it was too similar to 'The Rain' by Joseph Turkot, but that didn't hold for long, it's actually very different in terms of the kind of story they are, although both are based on the premise that the world is under water.

Eva is a well rounded, well thought out character as are most of the characters, some of whom I loved and rooted for, some I couldn't care less what happened to them.

Eva starts by investigating a murder as she used to be in the police force, but as the book goes on this turns into an investigation of a suspected conspiracy.

I enjoyed the book and had a good guess at who the bad guy was, the ending was left open for another book I felt, but there wasn't anything within this story that was unanswered, so I don't feel like I have to buy the next book (although probably will).

The only thing I perhaps didn't enjoy, was it was another book where the human race is reduced to a few hundred people and yet there are certain people to whom the power struggle is more important. Not sure I get that, but then not sure I'd be someone struggling to survive under such hopeless circumstances.

If you enjoyed 'The Techxorist' and other books like 'Wool', then I'm sure you'll enjoy this.
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on 21 May 2014
I quite like the cover for this book. I’m not sure it does the book justice though. It doesn’t really setup you up for the tension within. The title on the other hand is perfect. This book takes place in a world where the water levels have risen to a point where there is little or no land mass above sea level. I can’t help but make the inevitable reference to Waterworld at this point. That’s kind of how things seemed to me as the book started. As the plot unfolded it became increasingly clear that it was only visually similar to the 1995 blockbuster. This thriller is all about the tension and there is plenty of it. I started to feel a little claustrophobic reading parts of this book. Not quite the stifling insanity of Das Boot but there was the same feeling of being trapped and doomed to a slow and frustrating end.

This is not the kind of mystery that is obvious from the outset and is slowly revealed. There are some real surprises in the plot and it was very difficult to put this book down. This is a polished and thoroughly engaging thriller. The attention to detail, particularly on the survival and nautical aspects are really interesting and even had me going away to read about desalination.

As always with this author the characters have a realism that manages to be gritty and yet hopeful at the same time.

The only negative thing I’d say about this book is that I personally prefer the Cyberpunk books by Mr Barnes.

Overall this is a fresh and thought provoking thriller that showcases the author’s versatility and talent in yet another genre.
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on 4 March 2016
Didn't finish it and I normally like dystopian end of world themes. It's not badly written and started off as interesting enough end of the world as earth gets flooded hokum, but seemed to me to become increasingly silly and unlikely as it progressed, to the point where it was annoying me so much I gave up. Think it's the combination of unlikely and cliched character s( London gangster, mad spiritualist leader, hard boiled female policewoman etc) with a plot that seemed to be getting increasingly improbable with every page. Sorry.
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I always love reading post-apocalyptic novels, and this one looked very intriguing. The action starts from the first page as the reader is thrown directly into the action – it’s been about two years since a 2014 disaster globally raised the ocean levels – a flotilla of boats has gathered and the survivors do not know if they are the only humans still left on Earth. The community has its own problems of personality and viewpoint, and there is a shaky balance among all the surviving inhabitants on the flotilla. This balance is threatened further when it appears that there is a killer in their midst; who could it be, and what could be worth killing for in this changed world?

This is a really good novel; the writing style is quite intense, and perhaps lacks a little polish. However, the narrative races along at a great pace. While the characters I felt were a little undeveloped, I think the author has done this because the action is the main focus of the book. The ending leaves a nice gap where future novels could follow on, and I would be very interested to see where the author would choose to take the story to its next level. There’s heaps of potential in the world that he has created and the people who now populate it. A very engaging read, and I look forward to more (hopefully!).
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on 11 November 2015
Some Post -Apocalypse stories hold out hope of a better future providing you get through the current obstacles. Salt doesn't. Like Waterworld, the Earth is submerged up to the peaks of the tallest mountains. Unlike Waterworld, the weather is not calm and pleasant and there is no attempt at recovering goods from the sea bed. The group of survivors exist on what was saved the day the world flooded and anything that drifts by. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realise this is unsustainable and that every resource will become exhausted in pretty short order and even the very vessels that they live on will rot and sink.
But that is by the by because the main thrust of this book is a murder mystery complete with a feisty little Miss Marple analogue. The main difference is that the murderer is pretty obvious from the get go and so you have to endure a torturous route to the grand finale where the murderer is exposed, knowing all along who it is.
There are some interesting little sub plots, but some defy plausibility. Under these living conditions, there would be no polite tolerance of radicals in the flotilla. Simply shark food.
The book is well written and the errors few and far between.
The ending does lead straight into another book, but I am not sure I can face it.
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on 26 May 2014
A thrilling, post-apocalyptic murder mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat right until the end. It has a complex plot and excellent characters. It's a great thriller with a twist that really works. A cracking read.
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on 31 July 2015
Post-apocalyptic Earth… a ‘water world’… a dwindling group cling to life. But now division and intrigue complicate their everyday fight for survival… What secrets does their leader hide? And who has started killing members of their group and equally important: why?
This well-written, well-paced dystopian ‘whodunit’ keeps its secrets to the end and the pace of the novel and the search for answers ensures the reader stays the course.
Some of the characters are less interesting than others, and some of the science behind the fiction might leave you scratching your head a little… but in the end it’s an engrossing murder-mystery: Agatha Christie with sharks!!
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on 10 February 2016
Salt, a harmless commodity or so we think. In this book we step into the future where we have a motley crew stranded in a flotilla,when the ice caps have melted, and the seas have reclaimed the land.
Jim is the captain, but he does not have a tight rein, unbeknown to the rest of the flotilla, the persons sent as potential "volunteers" into the vast seas, are actually going to their death.
We have a German lady who has turned to christ and with her motley crew wreak devastation of the ships.
Eve a cop in her past life has to try and unravel the murders and find out what is going on.
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on 13 November 2014
Firstly, I must say, that Colin is my son, but I've tried to be impartial, and to write an honest review of the book I've just finished reading SALT by COLIN F.BARNES. It's the first of his books that I've read, and to be honest, I couldn't put it down. I was totally in amongst the pages, and could feel and imagine what the planet would be like under these circumstances, and eagerly await the sequel, if there's going to be one of course. The author certainly seems to be up there with some of the best, and I'd be very interested to see just how far he can get. Congratulations Colin F. Barnes.
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