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James, Dan - 'Unsinkable'
Paperback: 400 pages (Mar. 2012) Publisher: Arrow ISBN: 0099558130

The Titanic is about to sail on its maiden voyage. Arthur Beck is waiting to board. A former Special Branch policeman, he is running away from this job and his previous life due to mistakes made leading to the deaths of several civilians and policemen at the hands of a Latvian terrorist. Although not at fault, Arthur cannot live with the responsibility he feels for his failure to track down and stop the terrorist, Peter Piatkow, from carrying out further atrocities.

Martha Heaton is an American journalist, sent by her newspaper to cover the story of the great Titanicís maiden voyage. Resentful to be sent to cover what she sees as a just a gossip piece of news, Martha is not looking forward to the return journey even in the most luxurious ship every built. She has a keen nose for a story and searches out her fellow passengers for more than just gossip.

The Titanic sets sail. Arthur has decided to invest in a first class ticket to his new life in America but feels out of place amongst the luxury and opulence and the wealth of his fellow first class passengers. Then his worst nightmare happens. As passengers join the ship at Cherbourg, Arthur is convinced that his sees his nemesis, Peter Piatkow. He cannot trust his own eyes and searches the ship for the man he saw. He falls foul of the strict rules concerning the mixing of first, second and third class passengers and must ask for help from the president of the White Star Line, Ismay, who is also sailing on the ship in order to look for the man he most wants to bring to justice.

This is a timely story since it is 100 years since the Titanic sailed and an original take on the well known historical facts. As one reads the book, the inevitability of the tragedy looms, but doesnít detract from the excitement of the story. The story of the Titanic is not one that I am drawn to but I did enjoy this book. Dan James has woven facts about the Titanic and also about terrorism in London in the early part of the twentieth century and fiction to create an interesting and enthralling read.

Susan White, England
April 2012

More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 12/04/2012 20:46