In the harsh winter of December 1889, the sailing vessel Irex leaves Scotland, bound for Rio de Janeiro. She carries three thousand tons of pig iron and just three passengers for what should be a routine voyage. But Captain Will Hutton soon discovers that one of his passengers hides a horrifying secret that threatens the lives of everyone on board. As the Irex battles relentless storms, Hutton fights battles of his own as he becomes mired in the intrigues of his passengers.
When the Irex is wrecked off the Isle of Wight six weeks later, it falls to the county coroner, Frederick Blake, to unravel the events that overtook the doomed ship. He quickly runs into opposition - powerful forces within the British Establishment are working to spike his inquest. Locked in a conflict with the sinister agents sent to obstruct the investigation, he begins to discover that nothing aboard the Irex is what it first seemed, while the evil that stalked the ship now threatens anyone who seeks to expose it...
Irex is an atmospheric mystery, set in a rich Victorian world, packed with intrigue, twists and unforgettable characters — the gripping first novel by Carl Rackman.
Irex took the Silver Medal in the Historical Fiction category of the #RBRT 2017 Book Awards.
About the Author
Hi! I'm Carl Rackman, a British former airline pilot turned author. I spent my working life travelling the world and this has given me a keen interest in other people and cultures. I've drawn on my many experiences for my writing.
I write suspense thrillers with a grounded science-fiction theme. I like reading novels that feature atmospheric locales and I enjoy complex, absorbing storylines combined with rich, believable characters, so that's the sort of fiction I write. I try to create immersive worlds for the reader to explore, and characters who are more than just vehicles for the story.
I come from a naval military background and have held a lifelong interest in military history and seafaring - all my books usually contain some of these elements!
Some Review Excerpts
“Mr. Rackman is an exceptional writer” - Noelle Granger, RA Book Review Team
“A spectacularly good novel” - Terry Tyler, author of The Project Renova trilogy
“A tortuous tale with excellent characterisation” - Tuesday Book Blog
“It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. It’s so good and the quality of the writing is excellent throughout.” - Cathy Ryan, Between The Lines Review Blog
"What a book! I liked the writing instantly and was intrigued by the whole premise of the story." - Amazon Reviewer
"It's rare for me to give 5 stars, especially for a genre that I wouldn't normally touch, but this book is so atmospheric, so gripping, so intriguing, so entertaining that I could not award less." - Amazon Reviewer