Vantage Point, by Patricia Filteau
Set in the near future, this is a mystery thriller novel dealing with advanced technology and intellectual property rights, so you might be asking what it’s got to do with open water swimming and why does it have a review in an open water swimming magazine?
The reason is that the protagonist, Kate Roarty, as well as being a specialist in restoring intellectual property to its rightful owners, is also a keen open water swimmer. The book opens with Kate taking one of her regular leisurely evening swims in Canada’s Lake Meech, which quickly turns into a nightmare with the gruesome discovery of a body – surely one of the worst things that can happen to a swimmer.
She does the right thing and calls in the police, but what should have been the end of Kate’s involvement only becomes the beginning. An autopsy reveals a mysterious microchip has been embedded into the brain of the deceased, who was also the CEO of a high tech start-up at the forefront of machine brain interactions. The police realise Kate’s professional expertise could be essential to unravelling the murder so recruit her and send her on a mission to uncover the truth that takes her across the Atlantic to the UK and dealings with Britain’s security services.
Meanwhile the swimming theme keeps resurfacing through the places Kate visits and the people she meets. British readers in particular will have to work hard to suspend their disbelief about some of the UK encounters, especially the idea that the government might build a massive luxury pool at GCHQ in Cheltenham. Still, the book is set in 2026, so who knows what might happen? What will ring true with many readers is Kate’s need to swim, wherever she is.
Patricia Filteau is an open water swimmer herself and has occasionally contributed non-fiction articles to H2Open.
ebook (£4.22) / paperback (£12.99)