ANANSI (2023) is an historical novel set against the slave trade and the Surinamese plantations at the end of the 17th Century. It is the story of the forbidden love of an enslaved woman and a Dutch sailor, who against all odds and the harsh reality of the slave trade hold on to one another, hoping for a better life in freedom. The tale begins in fort Elmina, the headquarters of the Dutch West India Company in what used to be the Gold Coast (Ghana today). It then moves across the Atlantic, ending up in the colony of Suriname shortly after the Dutch take-over in the late 17th Century.
The main protagonists are Efua, a young African woman enslaved by a Spanish slave trader based in Elmina, and a rebellious Dutch sailor, who feel irresistibly attracted to one another. The forbidden liaison comes to light and the girl is sold and put aboard a slave ship to Suriname. The young man manages to talk himself on board another ship to go and search for her on the other side of the Atlantic, a search full of hardship in the South American jungle.
ANANSI is a gripping tale of the Dutch slave trade and the horrors of the Surinamese plantations, about Caribbean pirates, hurricanes and the deprivations of seafaring in times long gone. The folk tales of the spider and smart trickster Anansi, which in West Africa are related by the elders to the younger generation, travelled to Suriname with the slave trade, and are at the core of the book. Efua tells the stories she learned from her grandmother and takes them with her on the slave ship to Suriname.
Videotrailer for ANANSI:
TWO FATHOMS DEEP
What happened to the cargo of the French brig-of-war 'Arabelle', which lay hidden under the sand for two hundred years?
TWO FATHOMS DEEP (2022) is the story of the wreck of the French brig-of-war 'Arabelle' of Napoleon's day, which lay two fathoms below the sand off the isle of Ameland for two centuries. A young man and his girlfriend, who is a descendant of a survivor of the disaster, find enigmatic documents in the legacy of her deceased grandmother.
The personal logbook of a soldier from Napoleon's army gives them a clue to the position of the wreck. Shortly after its discovery the valuable cargo in the wreck is pillaged by ruthless salvage hunters who leave a trail of violence behind. The plot moves from the Dutch coast to the Medway and the Essex rivers.
TWO FATHOMS DEEP is an historical novel that culminates in a contemporary thriller. The wreck and family ties are wrought into a surprising link over the centuries.
Videotrailer for Two Fathoms Deep:
THE CARGO (2020, revised 2023) is a thriller of ordinary people caught in woman trafficking.
As a father and son sail their yacht in a coastal area of shallow creeks, islands and sandbanks, they pick up de body of a drowned young man drifting in a half-deflated lifejacket. That same evening after arriving in port and making a statement to the police, a mysterious young woman visits their boat, asking after the drowned man.
Soon afterwards they are caught in a web of international crime, intimidation and murder, which is being ignored by the authorities until it is too late and more bodies turn up. The frightening incidents during the ensuing weeks will change their lives forever.
Videotrailer for The Cargo:
THE BATAVIAN (2019, revised 2023) is a gripping story of the refugee crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Thirty-one-year-old sailor Mark Schouten loses his job as a Second Mate due to ill-health. As he is convalescing from an operation he receives an inheritance and buys an old wooden schooner, which he restores and sails to the Mediterranean. At the end of his journey near the Turkish coast he rescues a group of Syrian refugees from the sea, who have been drifting in a leaking boat.
The rescue and the ensuing events change his life once again. Back home following his voyage he rebuilds his life, but the memory of a Syrian girl in the group he rescued from the sea keeps haunting him. He goes on a quest to find her in the chaos of the refugee crisis in Greece.
Videotrailer for The Batavian: