Sunday 31 May 2020

Blackbirding tale

For those seeking some historic fiction to escape these difficult times, then John Singe new book may interest you.  John has written a number of books on the history of the Torres Strait along with a couple of stories using his adventurer 'Duncan Ross' to tell a rollicking saga of adventure and intrigue set against the colonial rivalry of the great powers in the South Pacific.  This story starts with his Duncan Ross, a placid clerk, receiving a letter from Queensland which plucks him from his humdrum life on the Sydney wharves and is dispatched on a secret mission to the South Seas where he encounters brutal blackbirders, fierce cannibals and a resurgent Ku Klux Klan fixed on recreating the cotton plantations of the Old South in the far reaches of the Pacific.  From the crystalline lagoons of the Coral Sea to the pearling grounds of the Torres Strait the story's hero charts an erratic course between duty and self-preservation.  Kidnapped and castaway the desperate Duncan finally pitches up on the coast of the unknown New Guinea where he is plunged headlong into the midst of savagery and danger. A rollicking read to while away a few hours while stuck at home. 

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