With a passenger list that includes celebrities of the day (Toscanini, Stravinsky, Fanny Ward, Rose Kennedy and her children) along with a young Nazi, the American ship SS Manhattan sits at the pier in Le Havre, France in 1939. “Cousins Masha and Rachel Morganstern board the luxury liner bound for New York, desperate to escape the concentration camps that claimed the rest of their family”. But crossing the Atlantic is hazardous now that German U-boats patrol off the English shores. It is one of these U-boats that stalks the overloaded ship as she sails out of Southampton. Meant to carry but one thousand one hundred passengers, the ship is over capacity at close to two thousand souls including the crew.
Author Marius Gabriel fleshes out his characters by peeling off their layers in a deliberate fashion. Almost no one is what they appear to be on the surface. Even Captain Randall, known for his daring rescues, must risk everything on this his last pre-retirement voyage. Only a bold move on his part can save the ship and its passengers. Will it work?
The Ocean Liner is a riveting story that will keep you turning the pages well into the night. You’ll feel as though the characters are old friends before long and you’ll find yourself wandering the passageways of the SS Manhattan and waiting in the lines of Ellis Island. I also enjoyed the manner in which the author follows his characters once they are on American soil. I like a story that provides closure and this story does that. A very enjoyable addition to this author’s stable of work.
Rating: 5 stars