About this book…
It was a first class deception that would change her life forever
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.
I don’t think I have ever felt so “tongue tied” going into a review before, I don’t feel that MY words will be able to do justice to A Dangerous Crossing which is one of the most beautifully written books I have read this year. It’s words just poured themselves all over me so that every one of my senses was stimulated. I could feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, the wind in my hair and taste the salt that wind blew in my face as if I were standing against the deck railings. I could smell the spices in the markets and hear the noisy crowds as they surrounded the travellers on the trips ashore. I could see all the passengers and the areas of the ship, such as the cabins and the dining rooms, in my mind as clearly as if I were there standing alongside them. And all of these sensations were conjured up by a narrative that was so intensely gratifying that I didn’t just read this book, I experienced it!
To start with, that cover is simply stunning and encourages readers inside with the promise of an Agatha Christie style murder mystery. Those expecting a straight forward whodunit with a cast of possible suspects could possibly be disappointed as that’s not where this book sits within its genre. Yes, we understand from the prologue that two people are dead and that the police have arrested someone from the ship, but it’s the build up to the shocking events that take place on board The Orontes which makes this magnificent character driven drama the rich and powerful story that it is. We are making the same voyage of discovery alongside the passengers, journeying together towards an unknown conclusion.
There is so much to take in that don’t expect a quick and easy read. The lavishly described scenes will have you taking your time, never dropping a word so that you get to appreciate all the passengers taking this one way trip to Australia. Most have had their passage paid and are off to start new lives, but the First Class passengers have different agendas and when Lily becomes involved with Max and Eliza Campbell we know no good can come from it. Everyone on board seems to be running away from something and as the ship gets closer to its final stop, tensions arise and the political and social unrest that came aboard with them erupts with life changing consequences.
I know that Rachel Rhys is the pseudonym of a psychological thriller author who’s books I much admire but here she has exceeded my expectations with this fictional account of a journey that is actually based on fact. It’s obvious to me that she was passionately determined to bring this story to life and share it with a wider audience and she should be incredibly proud that her risk has paid off. I absolutely adored it!
A big thank you to Alison Barrow for my review copy of A Dangerous Crossing which is published by Doubleday on March 23rd 2017
About the author…
RACHEL RHYS is the pen-name of a successful psychological suspense author. A Dangerous Crossing is her debut under this name and is inspired by a real life account of a 1930s ocean voyage. A Dangerous Crossing is due to be published around the world. Rachel Rhys lives in North London with her family.