Book review: Canal Pushers by Andy Griffee

Canal Pushers by Andy Griffee (Orphan Publishing)

Canal Pushers by Andy Griffee (Orphan Publishing) - Credit: Orphan

The detective thriller set on the canals is a heart stopping first venture - with a serial pusher

The potential problem with reading any fiction set on the canals, is that you'll be distracted from the story by all the things the author has got wrong about the waterways and their operation. But when the first page of Canal Pushers contains a Pearson's Canal Companion-style map of the Stratford and Worcester & Birmingham Canals, complete with average cruising times, you know you're in safe hands.

This debut novel by Andy Griffee introduces Jack Johnson, a recently divorced journalist who hires a narrowboat for a month to see whether he could cope with living on board full time. His inexperience at boating shows, and he's rescued by an enigmatic woman. Before long, this intricate crime thriller has them pursued by the press, a rural drugs gang, and a serial killer - with all three stories cleverly interwoven. Griffee, who's a former BBC journalist and executive, has written a thoroughly enjoyable and gripping tale.

The waterways setting is crucial to the book's success, and anyone who's travelled these waterways will recognise all the locations and enjoy references to locations such as the Mucky Duck pub in Stratford and Wedges Bakery at Hockley Heath; even Canal Boat gets a mention!

A second novel in the series is due out next year.

Canal Pushers, Andy Griffee, Orphans Publishing,, £18.99, 978-1-903360316