Review by Bill Kirton
One classic setting for the crime/horror genre used to be (maybe still is) the isolated country house/hotel/community cut off from the outside world by fog/rising tide/military activities and lots of variations on those themes. Offshore brings this up to date with its setting on a disused platform in the
to which a skeleton crew is sent by helicopter to check it over so that the
owners can sell it on. The author has obviously researched the nature of such
structures very carefully and her account of the trip there, conditions on the
rig and the James Bond-like complexity of its architecture and engineering is
impeccable. This doesn’t mean that she gets bogged down in details because her
focus is on the personalities of the various crew members. Just being out
there, with minimal facilities, lots of work to do and fewer personnel than
they really needed to do it is a source of stress, but the presence of just one
woman as well as personality clashes add further conflicts and resentments to
the tension, interpersonal and sexual.
But all of this is nothing compared with the inhuman presence that lurks, unseen and unsuspected, deep in a sealed off part of the platform. Once it’s unleashed, though, crew members begin to vanish, one by one, in horrific circumstances. The creature may belong to paranormal realms but its treatment of its victims is literally visceral. Readers are warned right at the beginning of the book that it contains ‘very strong language throughout, scenes of horror, peril and adult content’ and, if you’re of a nervous disposition, you’d do well to heed the warning. The book is well-written, the action sustained and relentless and it all adds up to a very satisfying read.