18 April 2016

Guest Post: J.S. Law

Tenacity PB jacket.jpgSo J.S. Law’s heart-pounding submariner thriller Tenacity has been, heh, making all sorts of waves, picking up acclaim from reviewers and some of the biggest names in the crime fiction business.

Tenacity is the first in an exciting new series featuring Royal Naval Investigator Danielle Lewis. Dan finds herself in the claustrophobic confines of the HMS Tenacity investigating the supposed suicide of a sailor. Dan must interrogate the tight-knit, male crew and determine if there’s a link.

But it’s a sweaty, deadly environment in a tin can several fathoms below the ocean. Standing alone in the face of extreme hostility and with a possible killer on board, Dan soon realises that she may have to choose between the truth and her own survival.

The pressure is rising and Dan’s time is running out…

Crime Thriller Fella is delighted to be taking part in the Law’s Naval Toasts Blog Tour to celebrate the Headline paperback publication of Tenacity this Thursday, April 21st. The man knows his stuff, big time. He joined the Royal Navy in 1993 as an apprentice and went on to serve for twenty years, the majority of that time spent in the Submarine Service.

In this fascinating Guest Post - entitled Our Ships At Sea - he discusses just what means to spend months below the surface for months at a time - and the effects of the body of serving on a nuclear submarine. Look away now, those of a nervous disposition…

If you’ve followed my blog tour at all, you’ll know that at mess dinners in the Royal Navy, immediately after the Loyal Toast of ‘The Queen’, the youngest officer present will normally offer the traditional drinking toast of that day.

The toast for Monday is “Our Ships at Sea” where we toast those operational vessels that are deployed away from home. I’m often asked what it’s like being at sea on a submarine, and I’ve blogged several times on the topic, but one things that is often misunderstood, is how bad submariners smell when we come back. You see, the atmosphere on subs gets quite stale and, with all the equipment and machinery, it has oil and diesel and other particulate in the air. The result is, that after many months away the smell is in your skin, like embedded there, and it takes effort to get it off.

JS Law Author Photo C Simon John.jpg

I remember once when we arrived into Rio. All of us who weren’t duty (nuclear submarines are manned 24/7) piled onto the buses and headed for our hotels. The wardroom (officers mess) on that submarine was ‘dry’ which meant we hadn’t had a beer for many months and so when we got to the hotel we went straight to the bar, dropped our bags and grabbed a few rounds. It

was only a few minutes later that we realised we’d cleared the entire ground floor of other guests, and the hotel staff were doing their very best to be polite, but we were smelly. That much was obvious.

When I came home I used to have to strip butt naked at the back door and walk straight up to the bath. We’d put these fizzy things in the water to make it smell nice and I’d have to soak for a good while to get the worst of it off. My clothes would remain in the back garden until they were brought directly in to the washing machine and after this, I was allowed hugs and free movement around the house.

It’s not just the atmosphere either, as Dan finds out on board Tenacity, a submariner’s shower is one minute of water! You turn on the shower – 15-20secs to get wet – turn it off – soap and wash – then 40-45secs to rinse and out you get. You get this once a day (once per watch if you’re a machinery space watch keeper or a chef) so it’s no wonder that Dan believes something doesn’t smell quite right on board Tenacity…