The Deep, by Kyle Perry
11 November 2021
A rugged coastline. A treacherous, turbulent, ocean. An air current so deadly locals call it the black wind. A remote village, home to the Dempsey family for generations. A family who has a made a name and livelihood for themselves as fishers and drug dealers. And then there are the names. Mackerel. Ahab. Blackbeard. It’s a nautical blend of ingredients indeed.
Such is the setting for The Deep (published by Penguin Books Australia, July 2021) the second novel of Burnie, Tasmania, based Australian writer Kyle Perry. But the inhabitants of Shacktown, on the Tasman Peninsula, wake to a troubling mystery one day. A young relative of the Dempsey’s, Forest, who disappeared seven years earlier, aged six, and long assumed to be dead, along with his parents, Jesse and Alexandra, has inexplicably appeared on a nearby beach.
A cross tattooed onto Forest’s back suggests he has been in the captive custody of Blackbeard, a rival drug lord who is intent on muscling into the illicit Dempsey family operation. But Mackerel and Ahab are reluctant to help the family deal with Blackbeard. Mackerel is on prison release, and any misstep will see him incarcerated again, while Ahab wants to turn his back on the family’s shady business ventures…