Castle Breakwater

Castle Breakwater

If you’ve been to St Peter Port, you can’t have failed to spot Castle Breakwater, which runs beyond Castle Cornet to form one arm of the harbour. It’s a great place to wander along in the sun, and perch at the end to watch the boats in Little Russell. It’s also a popular spot for fishing.

This picture was one I took about five years ago now, and it was used as the basis of the cover for The Sarnian 2: Blowfish. The treatment on that cover was far darker, with stormy skies and a chunk taken out of the side of the structure to reflect something that happens in the story itself.

This is an altogether more cheerful interpretation, and if you look hard enough you’ll spot a person standing on the right, looking south. You should be able to make out his head in line with the horizon. He was removed from the version that was used as the cover, along with a group of people sitting at the base of the lighthouse at the end of the breakwater.

I’m wondering whether to release the bubble images, of which there are a few, as a series of posters.

Check out the Sarnian video

The Sarnian’s first video — trailer, if you prefer — went live on YouTube today. It’s just over a minute long, but it gives you a good intro to what the series is all about. We’ve embedded it above so you can take a look without clicking away.

How many Guernsey locations can you spot in total? Marble Bay(Le Pied du Mur) is pretty obvious, on account of the stone marker at the top of the steps that leads down from the coastal path. You can’t miss the Cup and Saucer (Fort Grey), either, seen in all its glory with its night-time illumination. The round observation tower seen briefly behind the newspaper front page is the preserved tower at Pleinmont, which plays a part in Sarnian 2: Blowfish, and if you look carefully you should also catch sight of Saints Harbour. There are others, though, waiting to be discovered.

If you haven’t yet downloaded a copy of The Sarnian: Dead in the Water, check it out at one of these online stores.


Update: At the time being, The Sarnian is a Kindle exclusive, so the above links to the Kobo and iBooks stores have been removed. (28 August 2016)



Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, and the head of a separate bailiwick to Guernsey. The other islands that fall within the bounds of its bailiwick are Les Erechous, La Motte, Les Minquiers, Pierres de Lecq and Les Dirouilles.

It is roughly rectangular with large beaches to the east and west. The capital is St Helier, which sits on the south coast of the island. The island itself, separate from the rest of the bailiwick, consists of 118 square kilometers and sits around 14 miles from Normandy.

Although most of the characters in the Sarnian series were born or grew up on Guernsey, including Dan Le Page, Christine’s husband, Christine Le Page herself was born and raised on Jersey. The two of them set up home on Jersey, where they had two children, and moved to Guernsey as part of a placement Christine was undertaking at Guernsey Police, at the start of book 1, Dead in the Water.

Like Guernsey, Jersey is a Crown dependency of the United Kingdom. It was previously part of the Duchy of Normandy, the dukes of which became the kings of England, which is how the island — along with the other Channel Islands — became associated with the UK. They have been self-governing since 1204.

Politics and legal system

Jersey comprises 12 parishes, as follows:

  • Grouville
  • Saint Brelade
  • Saint Clement
  • Saint Helier
  • Saint John
  • Saint Lawrence
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Mary
  • Saint Ouen
  • Saint Peter
  • Saint Saviour
  • Trinity

It is self-governing, with 51 representatives elected to the States of Jersey or appointed by the Crown. The monarch of the United Kingdom reigns over the Bailiwick of Jersey and has her own representative on the island.

Although not a direct member of the European Union, Jersey enjoys the benefits of membership through its connection to the United Kingdom.

History of Jersey

There is evidence of habitation dating back to the bronze age, as there is on the other Channel Islands. More obvious indicators of the island’s previous inhabitants include defensive Martello Towers that were built to protect it from Norman (French) invasion and, later, concrete towers and bunkers constructed by the invading German forces during the Second World War.

Over the years, since becoming associated with the British Crown, French forces have made several attempts to take them back. Notably, a French force of 1000 arrived at the island in January 1781, but met a defensive force of 9000 local soldiers. The battle, which took place in the present Royal Square, lasted only half an hour, during which the leaders of each force were killed, along with 86 French and 16 local fighters. The French forces withdrew.

Second World War

Jersey was invaded on 1 July 1940 and occupied until 9 May 1945 when the islands when Germany surrendered. Along with the other Channel Islands, Jersey formed part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall defences and as such was heavily fortified. The Germans were unaware that the Channel Islands had been demilitarised early in the war and sent at least three bombers over Jersey in advance of the invasion itself.

The majority of Jersey’s residents remained on the island throughout the occupation, with only around 6,500 evacuating out of a total population of around 50,000.

A light railway was built on the island to help with the construction of the fortifications but has since been removed and now forms a walking and cycling round across the island.

Present-day Jersey

Jersey’s population is now almost double what it was during the Second World War (99,500 in 2014). It makes the majority of its income from financial services, but also — like Guernsey — had a strong tourism industry.

English remains the main language spoken on the island, although around 2,500 inhabitants speak some Jerrais, the local tongue that is related to Guernsey’s Guernesiais.

Roche, Matthieu

Matthieu Roche is an agent handler who works for Interpol. He is tasked with discovering what happened to Remus Carey, after Carey disappeared from his boat, the Huffin’ Puffin, in the waters off the island of Sark. He works directly under Aurelie Paget at Interpol headquarters in Lyon.

Matthieu first appears without being named in book 1, Dead in the Water, where he takes part in the meeting of delegates from across Europe in room 16 at Interpol headquarters. He is first named in book 2, Blowfish, where he shares an office with Christine Le Page after she is sent to Lyon to help with the search for Remus.

He is a tall man, first encountered in the underground car park beneath Interpol headquarters, where he takes Christine’s car and parks it, after folding himself into the limited space in the driver’s seat.

He and Aurelie have worked together for so long that he can largely predict her reactions to any request or query. She, in turn, knows his passwords, so can access his computer accounts. On many occasions he acts as her deputy, although that role is not explicit.

He liaises with agents in field offices around Europe (but not beyond Europe), including Freidmann Holtzer, and has limited authority to direct operations. For those that have greater impact, he needs to refer back to Aurelie for sign-off.

Hollett, Alton

Alton Hollett is the twin brother of Frank Hollett, the owner of Hollett Construction. He came to Guernsey when searching for Frank 25 years ago, but went missing from his guesthouse. A police search ensued but his body was never recovered.

He is first mentioned in book 1, Dead in the Water, when the case of his disappearance is being investigated. Book 2, Blowfish, picks up the story from the point where he originally arrived in the garden.

Although Frank and Alton haven’t seen each other for many years when they are first reunited upon Alton’s arrival on the island, the similarities between the two remain obvious.

Media contact

Nik Rawlinson

Review copies

Review samples are available for publications, blogs and broadcast outlets. If you'd like a copy of book 1, send an email to stating the name of the publication, blog or broadcaster that will be carrying the review.

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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

Get in touch


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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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