Publication Date: April 2017 from Transworld
Source: Review Copy
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 loved this SO MUCH. I’m on a run of excellent reads right now (bows down before the Gods of Literature) but A Dangerous Crossing was perhaps the one that I fell into absolutely – I have not read a novel in years that has so much rich, relevant and beautifully drawn detail about it whilst telling an utterly riveting, completely compelling and ultimately unexpected story. With characters to die for. This is seriously good stuff right here. I genuinely did not want this book to end because then it would be over. But all good things and all that…
I don’t think it is any surprise to anyone that Rachel Rhys is in fact the alter ego of Tammy Cohen – an extraordinary writer of psychological thrillers – who has now confirmed her writing distinction by giving us a gorgeous, authentic historical drama, still with a hint of mystery, but mostly a brilliantly done retrospective of a time gone by. Taking apart the social divides of the day, throwing her characters into a melting pot of class and culture division and allowing them all to simmer, A Dangerous Crossing will steal your heart, as will Lily the girl at the centre of the storm.
The world was about to enter a period of utter madness back then (as it appears to be doing right now) and the sense of that is captured perfectly – whilst still not losing sight of the fact that people were still people, human nature is both a wonderful and an awful thing, on the ship with Lily are a whole bunch of people whose biggest problems and worries are little to do with the wider world. It is so cleverly plotted, so engaging that you will, like me, likely fall right into it.
Sublime writing and descriptive sense will put you right in the middle of proceedings, you’ll go through a range of feelings as you are reading, the end is KILLER on the emotions and this is one of those books you come out the other side of feeling vaguely displaced. I felt pretty much like I had BEEN at sea, took me a while to regain my land legs and honestly I just wanted to go back in. A simply wonderful reading experience.
This is the moment I try and sum things up in one easy sentence to finish off the review. How about this.
Completely F***ing awesome.
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