9 Oct. 2021
For Pity Sake Publishing
These days, Queenscliff on Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula is more often known as a seaside holiday town but 'The Lodeman' brings into sharp focus one of the town's remaining industries - the pilot service. Pilot boats are a fixture of Queenscliff, darting into the treacherous Rip in all weathers to shepherd big ships into and out from the Port of Melbourne. Many crewmembers have been lost in the line of duty, local police constable Chris Blackie's father among them. But when the body of a pilot captain is found on a local beach, suicide or accidental death are presumed by almost everyone except Chris himself. Sensing there’s much more to this case than meets the eye, Chris is nonetheless disturbed by the wide and tangled net that’s been cast. And with his mainstay deputy, Anthea Merritt currently on maternity leave, he must navigate these murky waters alone. Best described as a crime fiction/police procedural, 'The Lodeman' follows three other books in Dorothy Johnston's 'sea-change mystery' series - 'Gerard Hardy's Misfortune' (2019), 'The Swan Island Connection' (2017) and 'Through a Camel's Eye' (2016).