On a black night in April 1912, fifteen hundred passengers and crew perish as the Titanic slowly sinks beneath the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. Charting the same perilous course through the icebergs is the SS Californian, close enough for her crew to see the eight white distress rockets fired by the Titanic. Yet the Californian fails to act, and later her crew insist that they saw nothing. As news of the disaster spreads throughout America, journalists begin a feeding frenzy, desperate for stories. John Steadman is one such reporter, a man broken by alcoholism, grief and a failed marriage. Steadman senses blood as he fixates on the Californian and his investigation reveals a tense and perplexing relationship between the ship's captain and second officer, who hold the secrets of what occurred that night. Slowly he peels back the layers of deception, and his final, stunning revelation of what happened while the Titanic sank will either redeem the men of the Californian, or destroy them.
This is fiction mixed in with reality, the fiction being there was no John Steadman out for the big scoop. But his eagerness of that big story made me feel that the hunt was on.
I had not known that the Californian was close when the Titanic sank and it was such a mess! Wtf happened? What were they thinking? Doing? There also seems to be many answers that we just do not know, still today. It's a mystery, a sad one really.
The book begins with the dead bodies newsman John Steadman, he is the man to write about catastrophes. And when he hears about Titanic he knows he has a winner, but he focuses on The Californian, and wonders what went wrong...yes what did go wrong?
And we all know what happened to the Titanic, I do not have to say anything more there, cos this is not about that. It's about that other ship and what she was doing, and the aftermath.
I liked that I learned more, because yes I had no idea about the whole Californian mess. But I still wonder about it, I guess I always will.
Oh and Ice bergs are scary!
Interesting take on this story.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 7th 2016 by Atlantic Books