This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner’s illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers – including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher – are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.
Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not – could not – have survived the sinking of the Titanic . . .
I’m fascinated by anything Titanic, and I’d read a few titles on this author’s backlist, so it was a no-brainer for me to request this book from NetGalley.
Don’t go into this novel expecting an in-your-face horror story. The Deep is more of a slow burn tale with a literary feel. The author does an exceptional job of interweaving real Titanic passengers and historical events with fictional characters to tell her story. She also uses Violet Jessop, an actual survivor of both the Titanic and the Britannic, in a supporting role as a friend of her main character, Annie.
Annie is a mysterious MC. At various points in the story I would be annoyed by her actions, then understand them the more I read. You may also wonder if she’s a reliable narrator, an aspect that just makes a story more enjoyable for me, because I’m constantly questioning everything. The dual timelines are blended seamlessly and gradually reveal backstories of these characters.
While this novel is certainly atmospheric, I’d personally hoped for more…haunting. Reviewers are split on this, so it’s really a matter of preference.
If you’re fascinated by all things Titanic, I’d recommend adding The Deep to your reading list. It’s a slower-paced book, but the characters are well-crafted, and the blend of fiction and nonfiction is done well.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.