Five years ago Martin Schwarz, a police psychologist, lost his wife and son. They were holidaying on a cruise ship when they simply vanished. A lackluster investigation was unable to shed any light on what happened—murder-suicide being the coroner’s verdict. It is a verdict that has haunted Martin ever since, blighting his life. But then he is contacted by an elderly woman, a writer, who claims to have information regarding their fate and wants him to come on board The Sultan of the Seas immediately. She explains that his wife and son are not the only mother and child pair to have disappeared. Only a few months ago another mother and daughter also vanished. She believes there may be a serial killer on board. But when the missing daughter reappears—carrying the teddy bear of Martin’s missing son—it becomes apparent that the truth could be much, much worse.
A twisty and compelling psychological thriller that doesn’t compromise on character depth and quality writing in order to deliver that twist that everyone sees coming, but instead offers a layered tale of a spate of mystery disappearances on cruise ships and takes you on an unpredictable journey towards the truth.
You probably won’t want to go on any kind of cruise after reading Passenger 23, which follows one man’s search for the truth about his wife and son. The plotting is superb and often disturbing, there is a lot of emotional tension and edgy action and you never really know where this is going until you get there.
I read it in one sitting, luckily starting it on a day off, it is one of those page turning yet considered thrillers that immerses you straight into its vivid world and holds you there until the final breathless reveals.
Really excellent. Recommended.