Atria/Emily Bestler Books | 8 August 2023 | 448 pgs
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Caz is excited to be on board the exclusive cruise liner RMS Atlantica with her new love, Pete. Well, who would want to turn down a vacation and do nothing but eat, dance and make some new friends on board the ship, right?
But when Caz wakes up the next morning to find Pete is missing, she thought he's just wander off to explore the cruise without her. However, as Caz walks out into the corridor and find all the cabin doors are open and the cabins empty, she has a bad feeling that something has gone terribly wrong. As she goes from floors to floors and from cabins to other various places, she's horrified to find that there's no one out there, not even the crew except herself! Their cruise liner is steaming into the mid-Atlantic and Caz is trapped alone out in the sea. What happened and what'd she do?
At first glance, the blurb sounds like an intriguing locked-room mystery but there's much more to the story. Unfortunately, I couldn't divulge more from that point and let's just say this novel may polarise readers into two groups. You either love it or hate it. From my point, I don't hate it but I don't love it either. Initially I'd the notion that this story might gear towards the direction of "Mary Celeste mystery" given the blurb but it was anything but. After going through a few chapters as lost as Caz, something came up and from there the story started to go downhill for me. To be fair, the story was good from another angle and there were even some very intense moments, but the direction and the motive are lost to me. I think I'd have loved it if it was a straightforward locked-room thriller. I enjoyed Will Dean's previous novel, First Born, but this novel just didn't work for me.
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