Book Review: Total Loss by Fred Lockwood


Total Loss is the first in the Jack Collier series by Fred Lockwood. It is rare for novels to contain any well thought out diving tales, but this one in an exception. The author is Emeritus Professor of Learning and Teaching at Manchester Metropolitan University, but he is also a PADI Master Scuba Diver, and he has combined his talents to create a series of books that feature a team of divers who have set-up the Marine Salvage & Investigation Company – a profession that seems to get them more than their fair share of adventures.

As the Marine Salvage & Investigation Company set off to complete a routine investigation of an ageing freighter that has sunk off the coast of Kenya they have no idea what is in store for them. Adventure above and below the water ensues in this first in the series diving adventure/thriller novels from Fred Lockwood.

As this is the first book in the series, the author spends time allowing the reader to get to know the main characters well. This means this first novel is a little longer and drawn out than those that follow, but it sets the scene and really gives you the time to become invested in the main character, Jack Collier, and his fledgling business. The diving elements of the book have also been very well researched, which really helps you become engaged with the story. You are taken from Liverpool to Dar es Saalam, from Dubai to Delhi, and from the depths of the Atlantic to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Whilst most of the action takes place above the waves, the marine elements are sure to pique the interest of many divers and there is plenty of technical diving action within the story too.

I love a good crime adventure thriller to read on my travels. This novel sees a classic tale of good versus evil, with the baddy, SAM, as a real piece of work that makes you cheer on the good guys in the story. As an aside, as a Manchester resident, I was very pleased to see Jack setting up his new business in my city! You can watch the book trailer below:

If you are looking for a holiday read that includes diving and adventure then following Jack Collier in this series might just be for you. I have read three in the series so far and so watch out for reviews of the following titles coming to Scubaverse soon.

  • Title: Total Loss
  • Author: Fred Lockwood
  • ISBN: 9781784651022
  • Pegasus Publishers

For more information about Fred Lockwood visit his website by clicking here.

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit

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