A Dangerous Crossing
A murder mystery set on an ocean liner bound for Australia as World War II looms.
*Reviewed by Townswoman Hazel Goulstone*
I found this book a joy to read, and was gripped from the first page. It tells the story of Lily, a young girl travelling to Australia under the assisted passage scheme, which sought to enable households there to engage much-needed domestic help.
The sea voyage took five and a half weeks, and the ship called at a number of ports to enable it to take on supplies and mail, and for passengers to leave or join it. While in port, passengers were able to go ashore and visit places they'd previously only read about.
The glamour and excitement of such a trip was vividly drawn, as were the characters of the various passengers.
The tensions in Europe add to the drama, with the story set in 1939. The ship arrives in Sydney the day after the outbreak of World War II.
We see from the book jacket that two passengers die during the voyage. This brings me to the part where I became unhappy with the story. The descriptions of the voyage were faultless, but I felt it was unlikely that a passenger could vanish, presumably overboard, with so little investigation. The murder that took place towards the end of the book was, I felt, most unsatisfactory in just about every way. That said, I would recommend this book as an excellent holiday read.
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