The Midnight Watch by David Dyer

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— BLURB —

As the Titanic and her passengers sank slowly into the Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg late in the evening of April 14, 1912, a nearby ship looked on. Second Officer Herbert Stone, in charge of the midnight watch on the SS Californian sitting idly a few miles north, saw the distress rockets that the Titanic fired. He alerted the captain, Stanley Lord, who was sleeping in the chartroom below, but Lord did not come to the bridge. Eight rockets were fired during the dark hours of the midnight watch, and eight rockets were ignored. The next morning, the Titanic was at the bottom of the sea and more than 1,500 people were dead. When they learned of the extent of the tragedy, Lord and Stone did everything they could to hide their role in the disaster, but pursued by newspapermen, lawyers, and political leaders in America and England, their terrible secret was eventually revealed. The Midnight Watch is a fictional telling of what may have occurred that night on the SS Californian, and the resulting desperation of Officer Stone and Captain Lord in the aftermath of their inaction.

Told not only from the perspective of the SS Californian crew, but also through the eyes of a family of third-class passengers who perished in the disaster, the narrative is drawn together by Steadman, a tenacious Boston journalist who does not rest until the truth is found. The Midnight Watch is a powerful and dramatic debut novel–the result of many years of research in Liverpool, London, New York, and Boston, and informed by the author’s own experiences as a ship’s officer and a lawyer.

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— MY REVIEW —

I love how the author wrote this story based on the true event of the Titanic sinking, which was the main reason as to why I got this book. The story of the Titanic, which still seems to be something of a mystery to this day. It gives you an insight as to what was going on when it happened and how people reacted when they heard the news.

I did find when reading it, the pace was a little on the slow side. There’s parts here and there that really capture your attention but for the most part it drags (at least for me anyways).

I found the crew of the Californian frustratingly irritating. I don’t know who I found more annoying.. oh wait possibly the shitty captain! Seriously now!? The secrets, the lies and the cover ups just to save their own asses during the sinking was a disgrace. I felt like slapping some sense into them but that probably wouldn’t do much good.

Besides reading about the Titanic, you get to know Steadman’s personal story as well. When I first read about his family, I was taken aback. I was not expecting the shocker of a story that he shares at the beginning. I was truly saddened to read about the tragedy that he went through with his family – resulting in his wife to never be the same since.

It’s just one tragic story after another with this book..

Now although I didn’t like the pace of the book, the story itself was insightful and sad and in some parts surprising. It’s worth a read especially if you like historical fiction and the events revolving around the Titanic (to be more specific).

I was undecided whether to give this book 3.5 or 4 out of 5 but I ended up leaning more towards the lower rating in the end just because I found it hard to really connect with the book. The slow pace and the frustration I felt towards the crewmen made me put this book down and never wanting to reach out for it again until much much later in the day when I had finally mellowed out and almost forgot my annoyance of the captain lol 😛

I’m still glad I read it though. It did make me wonder more about the people who were affected by this tragedy and all those who lost their lives.

RATING: ♥♥♥½


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Hope you guys liked and found this review helpful. Catch you guys in my next one! Xo

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