Wednesday 25 January 2023

Irex by Carl Rackman Blog Tour

Irex by Carl Rackman

BlogTour  TheWriteReads 


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.


I love mystery and historical novels and as someone who lives in a coastal area with a rich maritime history, I found this novel about the ill-fated Irex very appealing. It's a fictional and thrilling reimagining of the events behind the sinking of the Irex in 1899. Captain Hutton is responsible for life on board the ship but what is he supposed to do when there is a serial killer on board and he is blackmailed into silence? There is a foreboding sense of unease as passengers and crew become sick or violent. As a storm rages the devilry on board the Irex ratchets up and Captain Hutton is faced with murder and the threat of mutiny. As the ship sinks, the crew of the Irex show their mettle and loyalty as they try to survive and apprehend a killer before the ship is lost. Mrs Barstow, one of the passengers, was an interesting character but I didn't completely understand her. Her personality seemed to evolve and change. It would be interesting to read some of the events from her perspective, with more of her back story and what motivated her to make the decisions she had made in life. The wrecking of the Irex is a tense and suspenseful section of the novel. The author describes the scene, the fear and the resolve of the sailors very well. The difficulty the lifeboats faced in the storm was described in nail-biting detail. I loved the dual storyline- jumping between life on board the ship and the coroner's investigation. Both were equally exciting and thrilling and I found myself turning the pages quickly as the story progressed at a fast pace. I enjoyed the snippets of humour in the book and the little dark twist at the end was a deviously delightful touch. Irex ticks a lot of boxes and anyone who likes historical mysteries, or nautical-themed books is sure to enjoy this one.

Buy Link Amazon

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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!

Author Website
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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

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