The Sarnian 1: Dead in the Water

Dead in the Water
The Sarnian Cover

A body on a beach, an impossible alibi and an unstoppable race against time

Oliver Carey could never have guessed how his life would be turned upside down the day he discovered a body in Marble Bay.

Tasked with reporting the news — not becoming a part of it — he finds himself the focus of the police enquiry, and pulled in two directions.

How can he prove that he isn’t the killer, while bagging an exclusive story — one that will keep his editor happy and help him keep his job? For if Carey is fired, he loses his access to the Sarnian archive, and with it the only chance he has of answering the question that brought him back to the island two years before:

What became of his father — and what happened the night he disappeared from his boat in the waters off Guernsey?

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Budzinski, Marie

Fixer for the Consortium, stationed on Guernsey where her cover is employment as a cleaner in one of the hotels in St Peter Port. She lives just above Town and diverts into work each morning in such a way that she can check for marks that suggest a message has been left.

As described in book 1, Dead on the Water,

Marie Budzinski didn’t turn heads. Not often. Not day to day. She was stout and wiry; her compact body passed below the average gaze as she moved about Town unseen. Only her shoes might catch an eye – often trainers, often red – but a moment later she’d be gone again. Just a seasonal worked servicing tourists. Her cover was perfect, so far.

Elsewhere in the same book we learn a little more about her appearance as Renouf sights her at the Guet:

Hurrying back to his car, he passed a short, stout woman, grey hair, late fifties, who looked as if she needed a few hearty meals. Something about her was wrong. She wasn’t expensively dressed, but her clothes were not the poorly matched garb that most walkers threw on for a trek through the woods to the lookout.

Marie is always well turned out and although there is suggestion that she may have a car one time when she visited the Guet (an assumption made by Renouf even though he didn’t actually see a car that she might have driven) she usually gets about the island by means of public transport. The assumption, therefore, is that she has no private transport of her own.

She has spent her adult life smoking, and as a result has a gravelly, cracked voice.

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Nik Rawlinson

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The Author

The Sarnian series is written by Nik Rawlinson, who was born in Guernsey and, although he doesn't currently live there, returns regularly. He is a journalist, author and broadcaster working for a wide range of lifestyle titles in the UK and beyond. Find out more at

The name

The name The Sarnian has two distinct meanings. It's up to the reader to decide which they prefer:

  1. It's the name of the newspaper for which Ollie works
  2. The Latin name for Guernsey was Sarnia. Thus, Ollie could be considered to be the Sarnian of the series title

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About Guernsey

Guernsey miscellany

The Sarnian series of books is published by Ovingo Limited. Ovingo Limited is a private limited company, registered in England and Wales, number 7468217. Registered office: 16 The Maltings, Roydon Road, Stanstead Abbotts, Hertfordshire, SG12 8UU.

For the avoidance of doubt

All of the characters, organisations, publications and narrative of the Sarnian series, any related publications, products and web sites are fictitious. Characters, events, organisations and publications are not intended to refer to actual entities or events and any similarity is unintentional and entirely coincidental.

What's this all about?

This web site, and its contents, are here to support The Sarnian, a series of books set on and around the Channel Islands, and Guernsey in particular. It started as a means of keeping track of each character so that their features, loves, desires, abilities, looks and so on didn't change from book to book and has grown to become a complete encyclopedia of the series. Unless otherwise stated, the images included on this site were taken by The Sarnian author, Nik Rawlinson, who is also the author of the content.


Rights to the contents of this website and the Sarnian series are retained by Nik Rawlinson. ©2014 - 2024 Nik Rawlinson. All Rights Reserved.

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