Muddied Waters 

The golden age of piracy is coming to an end as the world grows smaller and a generation dangles at the end of a noose. A once enterprising reverie for the young at heart and the criminally insane, now a dirty hand-me-down dream. All that’s left of the pirate legacy is greed found at the bottom of a bottle or the end of a barrel. Man’s true nature is shown through Theo Clarkson as he spins a tale of humanity’s darkest desires in Muddied Waters. One of the last of the pirate ships on the ocean, Sweet Liberty, comes across a Portuguese cargo ship carrying a king-size ransom. They take what they please and hold the king’s cousin, Belo, hostage. To the man’s humiliation, the pirates bargain with his life and sell him off to the nearest settlement for a pittance. Unbeknownst to the pirates, Belo’s do-or-die moto drags them into a manhunt that leads to nothing but misery and death.

Clarkson recreates an amazing atmosphere from the 1800s, bringing us back to a time where life was brutal and short. We can feel the reality of what peasants faced. The choices they made to gain an ounce of a better life. And the choices the higher-ups, the rich and the royal, made in order to suppress their subjects. Looking at the scene with Captain Teague and Milligan having a drink in the captain’s quarters Teague talks about the differences between him and Milligan. Both got the short end of the stick, but whereas Teague made his first kill when he was living on the streets as a child; Milligan fought in the Navy for his country. Teague sees his first kill as self-defense and Milligan’s as murder. Neither men’s’ actions were noble or moral, but it was what they had to do to survive.

The novel opens with the executioner telling readers about each individual being hanged that day. A foreshadowing of the characters eventual downfall. This creates a well-fashioned, artistic eye-opener for the readers. The story is written in third person allowing readers to get multiple perspectives and an overall feel for situations. Readers then know everything that happens in the book while characters can be blind-sided. This makes for great dramatic ‘reveal-all’ scenes, which Clarkson does beautifully. But not only is he able to blind-side the characters, but also his readers every-now-and-then too, creating reveals that shock his audience. I found the accents of the characters in the story to be interesting and creative.

Muddied Waters is exceptionally well-written and engaging. A pirates tale that builds slowly, giving readers a chance to take in all the characters and setting before racing off with suspense and turmoil leading up to the climax. Readers will be able to step back in time to the 1800’s and experience the not always glamourous pirate life. A great take over the typical happy pirate adventures.

Pages: 293 | ASIN: B07572SWFR

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About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on December 9, 2021, in Book Reviews, Four Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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