Sparkling cocktails, poisonous secrets …
1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.
But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.
By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again.
Firstly, I absolutely love the cover of this book, and if I’m honest, I was initially lured in by the cover, followed by famous reviews referring to this book as being thrilling and similar to Daphne du Maurier. I have to say that I didn’t find this book thrilling. I’ve only read two Daphne du Maurier books, but I loved them and didn’t experience any particular similarity with those. I fear I may have fallen for the hype, and in turn ended up a little disappointed, as my own personal experience of this book wasn’t the same as the majority of those who have read it so far. This has happened before, and I dare say it won’t be the last.
I have short-term memory problems, so I did struggle with the number of characters that were introduced early on, having to make a written list with descriptions of who was who, so I didn’t get too confused as the story progressed.
A Dangerous Crossing had a drama feel to it. Quite slow moving with lots of conversations and character interaction. This story raised issues like different classes and religions, particularly the Jewish, considering the time period this story is set in. A couple of the secrets the characters were hiding were quite interesting, and those are the parts of the story I found myself more interested in.
I also loved the part about the pyramids in Egypt, as I’ve seen the pyramids twice, back in 1996 and 1998, so the memories came flooding back. I remember feeling breathless inside a pyramid, and remember the panic when there was a power cut while we were in the burial chamber. There were a few screams, although not from me, which is rather surprising.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this book, it just wasn’t quite what I was expecting. If I had managed to connect with the characters more, perhaps I would have become more absorbed by the story, but for some reason I just couldn’t fully connect with them, although I did warm to Lily. I have read four other books by this author under two different names, and loved three out of those four, so I know I normally like this author’s writing style and creation of good characters. I guess this one just wasn’t quite right for me or the mood I was in while reading it.
If you want to read a fast paced thriller or intense murder mystery, this probably isn’t the book for you. If you desire an atmospheric story with lots of different characters, a hint of Agatha Christie without much murder mystery, and the feel of the Titanic without the sinking of a ship, then this book may be for you.
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