Midnight Watch

Why did the Californian stand by idle while the Titanic sank. Journalist John Steadman is determined to understand.

Review: Midnight Watch by David Dyer

20160218_120012The story of the Titanic’s sinking and loss of life needs no re-telling. A lesser story from that night is that of merchant ship Californian, which sat still in the cold Atlantic waters within sight of her that night. The crew saw her lights go out and the white flairs break apart in the night sky, the Californian did not move.

David Dyer draws on his experiences as an officer on a merchant ship and as a lawyer working in the London offices of the firm that represented the Titanic’s owners in 1912.

Written from the point of view of an investigative journalist covering the story of the Titanic David carefully reveals the mistakes, the human errors, the cover-ups and the sheer frailty of human nature that caused the closest ship to the Titanic to sit idly by.

David offers no judgments, the characters are allowed to reveal themselves in the actions and words. David’s adding of fiction to the facts of the story is seamless and I often had to remind myself that his writing is part fiction and conjecture to feelings and motivation.

If you love a mystery, factual history mixed with some fiction and a finely handled review of human motivation and error you will find Midnight Watch hard to put down when it hits the shops in March 2016.

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