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The Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins: The Complete Novel Kindle Edition
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"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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At the beginning of the novel, the protagonist, Tobias (Toby) Hopkins, has befallen one of the many curses of the sea—the loss of his ship and, therefore, his livelihood and small fortune. It is from this wreck, literally and figuratively, that Tobias must rebuild his ship and crew. Thus does Toby’s quest commence.
The author, Mr. Faro, deftly shares a treasure trove of fascinating time period elements with the reader during the course of the story, such as the dress, food, weaponry, and anything nautical. Concurrently, he also brings the ‘timeless’ elements of the setting to life as well—the beating sun, whipping winds, lush islands, and ravaging sea—truly immersing the reader in the world of Tobias Hopkins.
The main plot of the story is both thought-provoking and convincing, and is a good fit for the adventurous backdrop. Toby, having lost practically everything at the beginning of the novel (as previously noted), sets his sights on discovering the fate of his long lost father—and just as significantly, the fate of his father’s legacy, which could provide a wondrous boon. Additionally, the protagonist’s main storyline runs parallel to (and, as expected, eventually cleverly intersects) a mystery surrounding some ruthless murders and even more ruthless murderers. How these storylines intersect is a fascinating revelation. Also worthy of note are certain intricacies of the plot, namely a series of characters whose motives and trust are questionable, and yet who (at least in appearances) help Toby in his quest. These secondary characters and their incentives add a compelling sense of uncertainty to the outcome.
Mr. Faro does a commendable job of tying these various themes together in an eloquent and satisfactory manner, and the story is well balanced between the elements of a swashbuckling adventure story, a well-crafted mystery, a treasure hunt, and a record of the lives of those that partook in such settings, including privateers, pirates, common sailors and the like. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in an adventurous tale.
A series of unfortunate events takes Tobias Hopkins (Toby), a trader and ship’s captain, to Jamaica, where Toby’s ship is attacked during a trading run. As a result, he and his remaining men find temporary safe haven on another sailing vessel that’s headed to Jamaica. It is on this ship where Toby hears a tale from a seedy, drunken sailor about his father. Toby hasn’t seen his father since his dad took to the sea, leaving Toby and a young family back in England.
Arriving in Jamaica, Toby hits the streets in search of his dad and to purchase another ship, hoping to take his crew back to their families. His path takes him to dingy hotels, bars, brothels and eventually to Magdalena, his father’s former housekeeper and mother of his half-brother Eduardo. He learns from Magdalena that his father has been dead for several years. She also gives Toby a letter from his father, written to Toby and his family. The mysterious letter kicks off Toby’s dangerous quest where James Faro continues to weave his tale of intrigue. Will Toby find fortune, or will evil find Toby?
I am not typically a reader of historic fiction, but I was immediately captivated by James Faro’s writing style. Because of my schedule, it took me longer than I wanted to read the book, but each time I came back to it, I didn’t want to put it down, and you won’t either.
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review. I would have gladly paid for the entertainment it provided.
Most recent customer reviews
There is no doubt that the author’s naval history provided him with the knowledge and experiences to...Read more
The writing is impressive – a bit formal, which makes it absolutely perfect for a story set...Read more
Of Piracy. The story is set in the Carribean, specifically Jamaica, specifically Port Royal.Read more
I don’t often get a chance to read historical fiction, and know little...Read more