Published: 28/11/2016
ISBN: 9781785893674
Format: Paperback

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The Last Voyage of the Shelduck
by Tim Parker

The Last Voyage of the Shelduck is an intriguing book that details the ongoing mystery of the Shelduck – a seagoing leisure cruiser – which is bought out of dilapidated retirement to enter Dutch waters. The object of contention is a valuable Leiberman painting, which ultimately leads to the coup de grâce in a gripping finale. The story bides its time in pursuit of retribution and is full of character sketches. This novel perceptively portrays real people who engage with witty dialogue in an unfolding conspiracy.

The author Tim Parker is not only a shrewd observer of human behaviour, but he also combines an elegant command of words with an economy of explanation borne from his years as a columnist for the daily Brighton Argus. An ideal read for a book club, The Last Voyage of the Shelduck is an amusing book that is littered with quirky elements that never ceases to be entertaining, providing the opportunity for endless discussion by all who read it.

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A good read, the use of the first person singular, draws the reader into the action. unlike other crime novels, the action is leisurely and introduces one to the characters in the story, but there is a good storyline. A different sort of book, but worthy of reading.

by Timothy Salter

I recently read this book while on holiday and enjoyed it as it is a good old adventure yarn similar to the ones that I read as a schoolboy.

The plot centres on Mrs Goldberg the daughter of German-Jewish refugees from the Nazis. Her father was an art dealer who was swindled out of some valuable paintings, by an unscrupulous Dutch art dealer Wolter Deguder, in order to secure their escape. Soon after the war, Mrs Goldberg enlists the help of the narrator Alf’s father-in-law and Miles Sanford a former naval officer to “reclaim” the works of art. Strangely nothing is done about this at the time but following the death of Alf’s father-in-law the villainous Deguders make sinister moves to settle the score; however, the formidable Mrs Goldberg has scores to settle as well.

Interweaved are the experiences of Alf, a Taxi driver, celebrity and public speaker and he too is recruited to make up the crew of the Shelduck for its last outing to Holland in the present day.
The style is relaxed. The narrative reflects back to the events of the war and immediate post-war period developing the characters’ back stories and drawing the reader into the plot. There are a number of twists and reveals that maintain the suspense to the end.

I would strongly recommend it.

by Nigel Morris


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