The Missing Witness – out now!

The Missing WitnessWell… it’s taken 6 months from final draft to publication – which by the sounds of things isn’t unusual for the publishing industry – but at last my novel is available for purchase at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

As you’ll have noticed… the title of the book has changed (again).  During the first few drafts it was “The Baby, The Dog and Irene”- and then for pitching to agencies and publishers it became “The Impossible Suspect” – and after an extensive edit by endeavour press it was decided the title needed to be different.

Where do you go to find a new title… titles are often the hardest thing to come up with.  Being a game writer, I’m used to fabricating titles at fairly short notice, and I knew what would sell for a game… but what sells books?  I had no idea.  And so rather than settle on just one title, I decided to pitch several to the publisher to see what they thought.

This is the list I sent them – I’d be interested to see, after reading the book yourself, if you prefer any of the other titles…

The Curious Case of the Husband in the Attic
The Friendly Killer
The Silver Sleuther
The baby, the dog, and Irene
The Foundation of Murder
The Forgotten Memory
Nothing Left Behind
The Missing Witness
The Man in the Attic
Missing presumed dead
Loose Ends
A Different Solution
The Murder of Lesley Cooper
Murder on Park Drive
Falsely Accused
A Grim Murder
The Unlikely Detectives
A Suspicious Stabbing
The Kitchen Killer
A Puzzling Pensioner
A Caustic Connection
Too few at the funeral

Busy year!

Forget busy week, this has been a truly astoundingly busy year.

And because I can never remember the log in codes for my personal blog, it’s been sadly devoid of regular content.  That might change.  Because as you can tell… I’ve found out what they were!!  Sometimes you just need to be in a different location for them to come back to you.  Me?  It’s the office.  Which means… while I type, I really should be hard at work grafting.

I wish you could see me now.  I’m surrounded by boxes.  We’re just about to hit peak seasonal sales with the website, and wholesale orders are dribbling in regularly which is why the office is awash with cardboard.

For those of you who follow me on Periscope you’ll have seen me shrink wrapping on a near daily basis recently. (I’ve just newly made it on this year I’m @redherringgames on there if you wanted to find me.) Even though I’m the MD of the firm, I’m still the one nominated to do the most boring job in the office because… you guessed it… I’m the best at it.  Yeah right.  It’s a job no one else likes.  Which means muggins here has to do it.

Fortunately I’ve just finished a slew of custom written murders, so have the time to stand there while the machine vooms hot air all around me to my intense boredom.

The most exciting custom game this year has been the murder mystery for the International Agatha Christie Festival – which will get it’s first airing on the 18th September.  Details available directly on their website.

However, that’s not the main reason I’ve made it onto the blog at last.  Rather I wanted to tell you that I’ve finally finished the first draft of “The baby the Dog and Irene” which has been in development for over a year now and am back into re-editing.

Being me… I’ve sent the first re-edited three chapters off to an agent while I’m working on the rest, just to see what they say.  As a member of the International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, I’m hoping it’ll get more of a look in than the usual unsolicited manuscript… so watch this space.

As well as finishing off a novel, I’ve also made it onto Amazon Create Space and self-published a short mini guide on how to write murder mystery games.  Details of that are below.

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Creating a murder mystery for TOWIE

Wow… this came like a bolt from the blue… Friday evening, there I am, 6pm still sitting at my desk… the perils of a home office and being self employed, and the phone rings.

First thought… it’s my husband phoning me from downstairs… (two phones in the house and 2 flights of stairs between the kitchen and the office, I will admit we are occaisionally lazy…)  But no!  I answer the phone and it’s Amy from Lime Pictures, the company that films The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) enquiring into the possilibity of a 21 player game 1920s theme.

Well… to cut a long story short, and so many emails that you wouldn’t believe… Red Herring Games will be featured on TOWIE this sunday (7th July 2013).  I’m not sure who from the cast they have playing the game that evening, only that it will be played by a total of 18 people and hosted by two men.

As you might imagine the time pressure was immense.  The initial call came through at 6pm on Friday, and the final “go” on Saturday late evening – and they needed all the game materials to begin filming for this Sunday’s show on MONDAY AFTERNOON.

Now… I’m not good with maths, or for those who know me… analogue clocks… but even I could work out that it was less then 48 hours from inception to completion that was needed.

So if I was to stand any chance of pulling this off I needed to use a “base game” as my starting point.

So we had to make a decision.  To use “Murder at Merkister Hall” or to use something else…

It would seem at first the easiest thing to do would be to use a game from the website… but what if the cast revealed the murderer either on television or through facebook, twitter, press releases… it would mean we would have to remove that game from sale.

So… I had a bit of a quandry… after all, the solution is the “big reveal”… what could I do?

Over the years, we pick up custom orders from clients.  Some make the website after a quick re-write (e.g. A Corporate Murder was written for Disney Stores Ltd originally with Mickey and Minnie mouse in it… not that you would ever know; The Smashed Hits Poll Winners Murder was originally written for a local Vision Express 50th celebration – which will explain, for those who have played it, quite why there are as many references to glasses and contact lenses in there as they are).  But there are some games which, quite frankly would be TOO RUDE to make it onto the website…

So… after a brief discussion with Amy, it was off to one of these large player “rudies” to clean it up and create something 1920s appropriate for ITV viewing.

Sunday, after church, saw me bascially superglued to my seat, and I worked, with no more then toilet breaks from 11am to 2.30am (Yes… 15 1/2 hours straight) on Monday morning creating a whole new game just for TOWIE!

They wanted no TOWIE references within  the plot, so my favourite name “Fanny Vajazzled”  wasn’t to feature shucks…  Mind you – I couldn’t help my usual nautiness and the dead body is Rudyard Well… he always was a hard act to follow… and now he’s a stiff…

Here is the synopsis the cast will be receiving this week… and their characters.

 

It’s the roaring 20’s; a time of hope, prosperity, industrialisation, liberating fashion and jazz.

There’s money to be made if you’re business savvy and have the right connections;

and tucked away in the leafy depths of the Essex countryside, millionaire Sir Rudyard Well is just one of those who has achieved a very comfortable life.

Ranking #3 in the Forbes millionaire list, Rudyard Well is presently the wealthiest land owner in Essex, with a massive investment portfolio which includes the very latest in aviation technologies, as well as one of the largest international import export businesses on the Essex coast, Well Enterprises Ltd.

Sir Well is known for hosting lavish soirées, and tonight was to be no exception.  With exquisite food and lavish surroundings the evening was passing pleasantly and uneventfully, at least it was until he was discovered dead in his cellar face down in a tray of kitty litter.

The question is – which of the guests killed him?

THE SUSPECTS

Faye Slift – Mistress of Sir Rudyard Well.

A glamorous film star of some renown, Faye Slift is incredibly enticing and she has never been short of wannabe suitors.

Chuck Soveigh – The inventor and founder of Magnetic Underpinned Gearing (M.U.G.)

Aesthetically very pleasing on the eye, and with some significant financial backers, Chuck Soveigh is a good catch and he knows it.

Gill Tedd – Estranged third wife of Sir Rudyard Well.

A former model, Gill Tedd is a glamorous blonde famous for her appearance on numerous motorcar calendars.

Al Tetude – Founder of Essex Lion Aviation

Well connected and a fascinating conversationalist, Al Tetude is incredibly suave and good with the ladies.

Hugh Jinnins – International cricket coach.

Resplendent in his cricket whites, Hugh Jinnins is very handsome and has a charming and witty personality.

Anna Glipta – Art dealer

Classy and reserved, Anna Glipta has an attractive figure and has a sculptor’s eye for the other men at the party.

Hugo Furst – Test Pilot

Brave and daring, Hugo is hardly ever out of his flying gear, and is always reluctant to be parted from his leather jacket, long white scarf and goggles.

Debbie Taunt – American Socialite

With links to the French fashion industry, Debbie Taunt is dazzling at any party and a favourite of Sir Well.

Marc D’Triumph –  French Ambassador

Flamboyant French ambassador with a seductive accent and a cultivated look, Marc certainly knows how to entertain a lady.

Charity Bahl– Singer

Able to wow any crowd with her canary like voice and her peacock display of colour and form, Charity shines even without a spotlight, and always draws a crowd.

Warren Pease – Navy Captain

With the archetypal stiff upper lip, and smart in his dress uniform Warren radiates victory, though his career has been more chequered than he cares to admit.

Lee Enfield – Hunter.

A marksman of some renown and currently in pursuit of the “Beast of Brentwood” Lee Enfield is a powerful presence in any room, more noticeable for his preference for safari gear.

Ros Well – Celebrity Journalist

Never one for missing out on a scoop Ros Well is incredibly well dressed, and always on the look out for scandal and gossip, she always dresses to thrill… just don’t ask where she keeps her notebook and pen!

Emile Tikkit – Decadent Writer

Incredibly vain, fond of fashion and very much a man of leisure, Emile is single-minded in his pursuit of dandified elegance.

Ena Trance – Astrologer and spiritualist.

An enigmatic lady with hidden depths, Ena Trance positively oozes luxury from her every pore.

Jenny Tix – Creator of the Elixir of Youth.

A jewel encrusted beauty, Jenny Tix partakes of her own elixir and is regularly mistaken for a much younger woman.

Ivan Ego – Self-made Millionaire

An international man of mystery, Ivan’s financial beginnings may be inscrutable but his money is very much in evidence in his attire.

Anita Drinck – Executive vice-president in Sir Rudyard Well’s Corporation.

Elegant and with refined tastes, Anita Drinck doesn’t suffer fools gladly and takes no prisoners.

 

Of course… I suppose we need to write this one up into a proper plot now for everyone… and it’ll have to be called “The Only Way is Murder…”

You can find our more about our regular games here:  www.red-herring-games.co.uk

When I grow up…

I know, I know, I’ve been shockingly tardy at posting blogs…but, in my defence it’s been a busy few weeks, and only today has the business calmed down sufficiently to allow personal blog posts (and I admit I’m shirking…from business tasks this morning as I’ve got something I don’t want to do…)

Also in my defence I have been keeping up to date with my alter ego – posting as Dr Whiting for the business’s mascot Sherlock on: Dr Whiting’s Blog

Of course, with so many weeks gone past, this does mean there’s been a saving up of anecdotes from the children…

Things like…

“Mummy, what does Daddy want to do when he grows up?”

and….

“Do you think I can go to a funeral one day – before you die?”  (admittedly although the request sounded odd, he did have his heart in the right place… he wanted to make sure he had been to a funeral of someone he didn’t care about first, so he knew what to expect… and yes… this IS from a 6 year old).

and…

I think it looks like a large gold cheese grater.” (Yes, you’ve guessed it – the olympic torch!)  Which passed the end of our road one early morning to much un-excitement.

What can I say?  Yes, it REALLY was just a piece of flame sitting on top of an oversized cheese grater, and really, quite frankly, not at all interesting.  We might as well have been watching killingholme oil refinery chimney stacks… which are a lot easier to see from a distace.  I suppose, had it been darker, the flame might have been more visible, which might have helped, but in bright sunshine (a rarity in itself these last few months) there was very little to see.

Added to that there was the dissappointment of realising that the olympic torch itself wasn’t being passed around the UK like a relay race, but rather each torch was simply lighting another one in a chain… perhaps I was naive to expect more, I don’t know, but it really was such a non-event that we all simply went home and ticked it off the “bucket list” wondering why it was even on the list in the first place!!

As to what I’ve been up to on the writing front, well, there’s going to be a screening on the Local Freeview for my first ever TV program script sometime in 2013.  Seems ages away I know, but filming starts this summer, and there will be a winter live show as well to get the footage.  All good fun and a great experience getting it looked over by a professional TV producer.

There’s also been a lot of progress on the business front, with licensee requests from abroad for the retail side (translations into dutch), and in the UK, Florida, Dubai and Ireland, for the event management side, so that’s been tying me up for a bit; added to that, there’s a series of new You Tube films on the cards (keep your eyes out for our “Come die with me” video, AND I’m presently in the middle of drafting a script for our first ever video based team building game which will hopefully be filmed in the autumn and available in the winter for companies who want a different team building experience.

And if that isn’t enough, we’ve been preparing for the arrival of Mycroft Herring.  (And yes, I make all the mascots).  So that’s kept me busy too!

Poetry

I was asked the other day about poetry.  Did I know anyone who wrote poems to order.  Oddly enough – I did.  Me!

While most people know me as a murder mystery author, much of my early creative writing life was spent writing poetry and my “claim to fame” is winning 3rd prize in the national scottish poetry competition when I was a teenager.

Problem is – poetry, as a rule, doesn’t sell, and it’s also very subjective.  But I do take the odd commission.

The most recent commissions have been for rhyming poems to go in children’s books, but the one I liked the best was the one I wrote for a wedding a few years ago.  The Bride and Groom gave me a picture of a butterfly perched on a dragon’s nose and asked me to write a poem to go with the picture.  I love dragons myself, and enjoyed writing it for them.

It’s been a while now since the wedding, so I figured I could probably share the poem on-line over Christmas for others to enjoy.

 

 The Dragon and the Butterfly

A dazzling frail rainbow,

swift amid the smoke and flames,

descends,

landing on the hardened scales like feather.

Such lightness of touch.

A gentleness never witnessed.

A beauty never beheld.

A fragility so different.

 

They regard each other.

The strong and the weak.

The lumbering and the elegant.

The impervious and the vulnerable.

Each the contradiction of the other,

and yet in both, a similarity:

The joy of flight,

the shared experience of travelling where others only dream.

 

They linger, unwilling to part,

In the pause – admiration,

In the stillness – restlessness,

In the silence – longing.

Each is a manifestation of the other’s desire.

 

Their differences bind them.

Yearning drives them to transform.

A kaleidoscope of colours.

A wonder never witnessed.

The delicate joins with the strong,

giving weakness to strength

meekness to majesty

frailty to power.

It is the realisation of dreams.

Only together are they complete

Only together are they whole.

It’s a small world…

Like most writers, I’m also an avid reader.  This month is seeing me devouring “The Woman in White” by Wilkie Collins, one of the original murder mystery writers of the 1800s.  The book was serialised in “All the year round” at the time of the Road Hill Murder (see Suspicions of Mr Whicher on Amazon).  The Road hill murder was the very real murder which started out the whole murder mystery genre.

The book is well written though, do be warned it’s written in the 1800s so it isn’t fast paced chick lit – it’s classic writing, which means it needs to be read, not skimmed.  However the reason I mention it today is that I’ve just come upon a classic quote.

It’s not everyday you see the town in which you live mentioned in a book – unless of course you happen to be living somewhere like London – so when the word Grimsby crops up in literature to me it always makes me think “hey I live there”.

However – this mention was  a classic and so I just had to put it on the blog.  Excerpt from book (don’t worry it’s not a spoiler!)

Anne’s terror of being discovered in London or its neighbourhood, whenever they ventured to walk out, had gradually communicated itself to Mrs Clements; and she had determined on removing to one of the most out-of-the-way places in England – to the town of Grimsby in Lincolnshire, ….

Like I said – a classic quote!  Nice to know I live in one of the “most out-of-the-way places” in England!  (And that was in the 1800s at the hieght of the fishing industry so just imagine what it’s like living here now!!!)

Are writers just good liars who get old?


That’s an interesting question.

One of the first things we learn to do as children is lie.
“It wasn’t me.”;
“I didn’t do it”;
“She hit me first”;
“It broke all by itself”…
(Is this behaviour learned, or do we just do it instinctively??)

And do the best liars make the best story tellers?

Well, all fiction is just that, fiction, and most fiction writers will admit they “borrow” facts from their experience (personal, newspaper stories, second hand stories) in order to make their fictional stories seem real.

So are writers really just stretching the truth and lying? Is what we do, simply taking lying to a whole new level?

Are we inventing a cover story for life, a lie told instead of reality, a falsehood, a fabrication… And what is it in our psyche that drives us to tell stories so profusely… are we born liars? Is it a predisposition, a genetic or hereditory condition…? Were our parents good story tellers and is it learned behaviour rather than something we were just born with? Who knows…

I think to answer the question above we need to address this one:


Do the best story tellers make the best liars?

Probably not… Well, at least, I hope not. (Certainly not in my case. I can’t even keep a secret for long without spilling the beans!)

Writers are able to spin a yarn, yes, but I think over imagination, tends to ruin the lying process in it’s simplest form. We tend to go OTT on the excuses, provide a whole reasoning process for why something “is”, and this exaggeration gives us away.

And if the best story tellers are not the best liars, then ergo, the best liars are not the best storytellers.

So are we ALL storytellers at heart then?

I would say “yes”. Storytelling in it’s embryonic form is lying… and I think if I went around canvassing on a street corner I would be hard put to find someone who didn’t tell a lie at least once in their life, or, dare I say it, once already this year. Obviously I’m not accusing everyone of perjury or fraud, but I think most of us have said some of these at least once:

“Oh wow… you’ve had your hair cut… it really suits you.”
“No… that doesn’t make you look fat…”
“No… it doesn’t taste burned…”
or to the tele-sales person:
“I’m afraid she’s not in at the moment, can I take a message?”

So think about it next time someone asks you “Does their bum look big.” Are you a natural storyteller?

But is a storyteller a writer?

No. Writers are people who put their stories on paper / computer. They actually do something with the lies they make up. Writers aren’t necessarily published, but if they are putting stories (or facts – lets not forget journalists here… or is that still storytelling…) on paper, then they are writers.

Writing is something you learn AFTER you learn how to lie. And in that respect, I think writers ARE liars who get old. But they aren’t GOOD liars who get old.

GOOD liars you’ll find in prison. It’s the bad liars you’ll find on the bookshelves!

Important information for tables.

I regularly recieve communications for my husband from the Governors services at the council.

The last email had in the title field “Important information for Chairs” Which got me thinking…

So I drafted this in response:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TABLES.

It has come to our attention that there has been much focus on chairs in the recent emails from governor’s services.

As a result – we, the league of conference tables, hope this email will redress some of the balance.

Please note the following key points when recruiting any new tables in schools:

1) Tables should have no fewer than 4 legs, excepting of course when the legs are replaced by wheels. Tables should have no fewer then 2 legs however, as tables with 4 wheels could be accused of being trolleys.

2) Tables with odd numbers of legs should be avoided due to inherent instability issues.

3) Tables should have a horizontal top, excepting when stored vertically. The aforementioned horizontal top should be level, not undulating, or, heaven forbid, at a slope. (Sloping tables should be avoided at all costs due to health and safety concerns regarding hot drink spillages and back injuries caused by retrieval of pens.)

4) Tables can be of any size and shape, however, circular tables are seen to be less useful in the school setting where rectangular tables are preferred. (Circular tables give the feeling of equality – and in schools this must be avoided at ALL COSTS.)

5) Tables can be of any colour, however to achieve the most functionality we suggest wooden veneer. Wooden veneer suits a variety of applications from formal conferences to fundraising evening dinners. They can also of course, be covered with table cloths should the need arise.

6) Tables should be accompanied by chairs, unless of course you are using them for a buffet, in which case chairs just get in the way.

7) Finally, tables are NOT beds. Kindly refrain from allowing governors to sleep on them during meetings.

Warmest regards

Bill Yardtable.

Where did murder mystery games came from?


I have been asked to speak at the local Women’s contact group in September and, although somewhat daunted by the prospect (I can’t imagine I’m that entertaining) I have nonetheless been putting together my talk.

I’ve been billed as “Jo Smedley talks about her life of crime” – which sounds as if I’m a bit of a jail bird – how dissappointed they are going to be!

Anyway, as part of my talk I’ve been looking into the history of murder mystery games, as I thought others might like to know where they game from and, finding it interesting myself, I thought I would share it on my blog for everyone else.

And so – a brief history of murder mystery games:

To understand where murder mystery games come from, we need to start at the very beginning and look at where murder mystery fiction came from.

Firstly, and this is worth noting, the murder mystery genre simply didn’t exist until the 1800s.

The first detective in fiction was actually Edgar Allen Poe’s “August Dupin” in “Murder in the Rue Morgue” which was published in 1841, but, strangely enough it wasn’t until 1842 that the London metropolitan police appointed their first detective force consisting of just 8 men.

Charles Dickens brought out a detective work called Bleak House in 1853, but even then murder mystery as a genre still hadn’t really taken off.

What changed everything was, strangely enough, a real murder case which happened in 1860. The murder at Road Hill House was the first murder to be extensively reported in the press and it was this case that turned the good people of the UK into amateur sleuths.

Midnight on the 30th June 1860, Road Hill House was just another elegant family manor set in the rural Kent countryside. But by the morning this typical Victorian manor was the scene of a grisly murder. Saville Kent, aged just 3 years was found with his throat slit in the privy. The only real suspects were the members of the household. Saville’s father and mother, his siblings, the nursemaid, and the household staff.

It would be a disturbing case, even in this day and age, but back then, the murder set the British public on edge, they wanted to know everything. If this could happen in a respectable home then what could go on elsewhere? The press responded to the public’s interest by telling them as much as they wanted, printing hearsay and rumours as well as facts.

When the detectives got involved they left no stone unturned in the investigation. But this invasion of privacy was unheard of in Victorian England, where a man’s home was his castle. Needless to say the general public descended on the investigation like vultures, eager for any bits of juicy gossip and they all had their own ideas as to who killed Saville Kent and how it was done, even to the point of contradicting the police force in the national press.

It was this case, and the detective fever that followed it, that drove all future fiction. This case was the blueprint for all murder mystery novels to come. A manor house, a murder, a seemingly respectable family in which lurked secrets, and a singular detective who leaves no stone unturned.

Wickie Collins released Moonstone in 1868, just 8 years after the Road Hill Murder and it was this book that is considered to be the original fictional murder mystery.

Later on, in 887 one of the UKs best known detectives, Sherlock Holmes arrived. During his career Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 4 Sherlock Holmes novels and 56 short stories and Holmes is still one of the worlds best known detective characters to this day.

The Victorians were lovers of all types of parlour games, many of which have survived until this day in boxed form. And, if we were looking for the true origins of murder mystery games, then it was probably sometime in the late 1800’s, after murder mystery fiction was born, that they originated, starting out in the form of after dinner games such as murder in the dark, wink murder and jury. If anyone has ever played wink murder before, then you’ll know that it is a far cry from the modern murder mystery dinner parties. So what happened?

Well, by the 1920’s murder mysteries were growing in popularity, and it was into this golden age of fiction that Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers stepped in. Agatha Christie is best known for just two fictional sleuths, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple who are the detectives in approximately two thirds of her novels and short stories.

Since then murder mysteries have become still more popular and have taken over television as well as shelves and shelves in bookshops and libraries with novels for children as well as adults.

But when did murder mystery games hit the scene?

Well, 1935 saw the release of the first murder mystery game known as Jury Box. It’s vastly different from the modern murder mystery games. In Jury Box the players or Jurors are given the scenario of the murder, the evidence presented by the prosecutor and defendant, two photographs of the crime scene and ballot papers. Jurors have to make the decision as to who is guilty and then a real solution is read out.

Cluedo, the first murder mystery board game was released some time later in 1948, and has continued to be popular. However, Cluedo (or Clue) is again, a vastly different game to the modern role playing dinner party mysteries.

So when did these murder mystery dinner party games first start?

Well the earliest mention I have found of these role playing murder mystery games in their present format is in the 1980s when they were thought to be a bit of a one year wonder in the game shops. Back then the scenarios were simple. The acting directions minimal and the games relied on the guests being comfortable ad-libbing responses to each other’s questions.

However, this one hit wonder clearly didn’t fall entirely flat, and in the last 20 years those basic games have increased in complexity into the more complex role playing dinner party games we have today.

Deep Rising – log line and synopsis.

For those who are interested in what Deep Rising is actually all about, part of the competition application form asked for a one sentence logline and a one page synopsis.

The logline

Deep rising explores one of man’s last frontiers, the ocean, and the small group of marine specialists who are drafted in to deal with the latest threat to come from the depths.

The one page synopsis

Dr Julia Taylor, an eminent marine biologist, is recruited by the military to investigate a series of unexplained and possible threatening behaviours exhibited by marine life around the UK.

Feisty and distrustful of the military Dr Taylor is coerced into reviewing the reported phenomenon, but what she fully expects to be a pointless research project suddenly becomes extremely serious when her husband is killed repairing the Flannan Islands Lighthouse by an enormous and previously unrecorded sea anemone-like creature.

With the mounting threats posed by previously passive sea life, further specialists are called in and SMRT, the SubMarine Research Team is born. Its remit: to uncover the cause of the danger now posed by sea life around the UK, and if possible to stop it.

With new incidents occurring all the time and worrying reports of the sea anemones working southwards time is pressing and Julia finds it hard to reconcile her relationship with the lone survivor of the sea-anemone attack, Steven with whom she had had an affair before her husband’s death.

Meanwhile the rest of SMRT form close working bonds through repeated adversity and all of them pull together as a family to support Nat, a divorced mother struggling to raise her family single handed.

Over a series of exploratory dives, and while following up new incident reports, Steven and other members of the team, all now dear to Julia, are placed continually in jeopardy, yet despite this SMRT manage to identify the epicentre of the new problem: the North Atlantic oil fields west of Shetland.

Using innovative techniques SMRT construct countermeasures for the marine threat and decide to dive directly to the sea bed in the epicentre to uncover the exact nature of the threat.

In a daring attempt Steven joins Mac, SMRT’s stoic dive expert, in a mini-submersible. Realising that Steven might not return Julia finds herself finally able to admit something she knew all along, that she loves Steven, regardless of the guilt she feels that he survived when her husband died.

As the mini-submersible’s lights finally fix on what might be the cause of all the difficulties the mini-submersible is itself attacked and the visual and audio feed is lost.

Cue series two!