Tourmaline By James Brogden. Book review

TOURMALINE By James Brogden, Snowbooks, s/b, £7.99,

Reviewed by Matthew Johns

Brogden’s second novel is just as quirky and well-written as his first, “The Narrows”.  Set between two worlds – the world we know, and another, which exists on the other side of sleep.

It begins in an art gallery, where a mysterious attractive woman is drawn to a painting, and a security guard disappears.  Meanwhile, on the other side of sleep, a man awakens floating on a raft in the middle of an empty ocean with no memory of who he is or how he got there.  Finding a floating steamer trunk in the sea, he clothes himself and decides, in the absence of his memory, to adopt the identity of the owner of the trunk.  He soon finds himself on Stray – a floating island made of driftwood, and populated by a curious array of residents.

Back in reality, Steve McBride, the missing security guard’s friend decides to investigate the mysterious woman from the art gallery and finds he falls in love with her, as they find themselves being chased and assisted by strange forces.

Brogden’s prose flows straight from the page, immersing the reader in his well-thought out world, and engaging them with good dialogue and well-rounded characters.  Definitely one to watch.