November 1924. The Endeavour sets sail from Southampton carrying 2,000 passengers and crew on a week-long voyage to New York.
When an elderly gentleman is found dead at the foot of a staircase, ship’s officer Timothy Birch is ready to declare it a tragic accident. But James Temple, a strong-minded Scotland Yard inspector, is certain there is more to this misfortune than meets the eye.
Birch agrees to investigate, and the trail quickly leads to the theft of a priceless painting. Its very existence is known only to its owner . . . and the dead man.
With just days remaining until they reach New York, and even Temple’s purpose on board the Endeavour proving increasingly suspicious, Birch’s search for the culprit is fraught with danger.
And all the while, the passengers continue to roam the ship with a killer in their midst . . .
The cover for this book caught my eye, its beautifully designed and immediately puts you in mind of sleuthing novels such as Agatha Christie’s so I had a feeling going in that I knew what was in store for me.
I have had a bit of a challenge working out if I actually enjoyed this one or not, on balance I feel I did. My challenge came because although it kept me coming back and reading so I could find out exactly what had happened I found it very hard to connect with any of the characters, I didn’t really care for any of them – even Birch or Temple which made it difficult to root for them.
That said the story was well crafted with all the twists and turns you would expect from an engaging ‘whodunnit’. I never quite worked it all out although I got to some of it – usually not very long before it was revealed though. I won’t say too much more as I don’t want to give away any plot.
For me it has to be a middle of the road read, all be it one that kept me coming back.
A Fatal Crossing is available now.