Book Reviews

Broke Deep (A Porthkennack Novel) by Charlie Cochrane at Riptide Publishing

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 10-July-2017

Book Blurb

Morgan Capell’s life is falling apart by small degrees—his father’s dead, his boyfriend dumped him, and his mother’s in the grip of dementia. His state of mind isn’t helped by his all-too-real recurring nightmare of the wreck of the Troilus, a two-hundred-year-old ship he’s been dreaming about since his teenage years.


The story of the Troilus is interwoven with the Capell family history. When amateur historian Dominic Watson inveigles himself into seeing the ship’s timbers which make up part of Morgan’s home, they form a tentative but prickly friendship that keeps threatening to spark into something more romantic.


Unexpectedly, Dominic discovers that one of the Troilus’s midshipman was rescued but subsequently might have been murdered, and persuades Morgan to help him establish the truth. But the more they dig, the more vivid Morgan’s nightmares become, until he’s convinced he’s showing the first signs of dementia. It takes as much patience as Dominic possesses—and a fortuitous discovery in a loft—to bring light out of the darkness.


Book Review

“Memories have huge staying power, but like dreams, they thrive in the dark, surviving for decades in the deep waters of our minds like shipwrecks on the sea bed.” ~ J.G. Ballard
Morgan Capell has had recurring dreams for years. He dreams about a ship named Trolius that crashed upon the rocky cliffs near his home, two hundred years ago. The dreams are so vivid and frightening, it feels as if he's experiencing it. He has never told anyone for fear of their reaction. Morgan is contacted by Dominic Watson, who is doing research on the Trolius. He requests that he be permitted to examine the beams in Morgan's house that happen to be made of salvaged wood from the ship, telling him that James, Morgan's ex-boyfriend, referred him. Hearing Jame's name, makes Morgan rebel against the whole idea. Also, it will stir up memories and bad dreams Morgan would rather not think about.

Even with Morgan's surly response and reluctant permission, Dominic tracks down his address and ends up at Morgan's door. they talk, it dawns on Morgan that Dominic's interest in the Trolius is more than curiosity. He begins to realize that Dominic is actually a nice guy if not a bit too direct. Dominic calls things as he sees them and that's not always comfortable for Morgan. A day trip of exploration becomes several days.  Morgan begins to enjoys the domesticity of having someone around. Yet, Morgan's mental state isn't good. He goes from being afraid to tell anyone about his nightmares, to thinking that they are a sign of early onset Dementia, like his mother, who is currently in a nursing home has, and his grandmother had before her.

Dominic begins to see that Morgan is mentally running away from and confronts him. This only serves to push Morgan further away. Finally, out of desperation, Morgan confesses. He confides in Dominic, telling him about his awful nightmares and the anxiety that goes along with anything to do with the Troilus. Morgan also relays his fear of being mentally ill. Dominic tries to help Morgan see reason but when he can’t, Dominic encourages him to seek help. Morgan is so terrified of what the doctor will tell him that he refuses to go. In a valiant effort to spare Dominic a life of taking care of him, he asks him to leave. Having said all he can for now, Dominic goes.

This is a fabulous story. I enjoyed the twists and turns, following the plethora of clues intricately placed within. I felt both frustrated with Morgan and sympathy for him at the same time. He'd rather hold everything in and worry, rather than confide in anyone or ask for help.  It's a reminder that many of the things people worry about never happen. Also, Alzheimer’s runs in my family on both sides and I feel Morgan's fear, knowing that it's a matter of when, not if I will get it. Dominic's straight-forwardness is refreshing and a perfect balance for Morgan whose name should be “denial”. I enjoyed the history hunting and even though it wasn't “real”, I found the whole process fascinating. This is another great Porthkennack story. I've enjoyed every one immensely. I see lots of possibilities for a sequel. *hint, hint* Thank you, Charlie, for the mysterious story about the Troilus and Morgan and Dominic's happy ending.  





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Riptide Publishing for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 249 pages/65900 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 05-June-2017
Price $4.99 ebook $17.99 paperback, $22.98 bundle
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