Title: A Fatal Crossing
Author: Tom Hindle
Release Date: 20/1/2022
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 44
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free eARC copy from Century Books ,via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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 . . .
We all know I like a good murder mystery! Tom Hindle’s debut is reminiscent of the Golden age cosy locked room mysteries. Mysterious lost paintings, art theft, gangsters, and murder all take place on the Endeavor’s trip from England to New York! It really had that old fashioned ‘whodunit’ feel that I was expecting. The 1920’s glamour of the the first class on the ship, the warren’s of corridors and cabins on the lower decks gave a huge sense of scale while still keeping the cast list of characters intimate enough for the reader to learn enough backstory about each of the potential suspects.
I really liked the writing style. The narrator inner monologue giving us an account of the investigation were again reminiscent of Christie or Conan Doyle’s work. He was an empathetic, is slightly slow witted character taking a while to warm to the stages on the investigation but also to realise his own excitement at taking part in the investigation. I really enjoyed how his character built and it developed.
Temple our intrepid Detective unfortunately fell a bit short for me. He was quiet stereotypical of the surely, argumentative detective and didn’t develop much from that. He was a little boring and even when secrets were revealed didn’t gain much more of my interest. I also found the pacing in the middle a little slow, it lost my attention for a little but as the pace picked back up again so did my enthusiasm for the mystery. I am glad I stuck it out at the final revels and twists made this an overall exciting and unpredictable read that I enjoyed.