Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (Jan. 9 2018)
Synopsis: The ship has been like a world within itself, a vast floating city outside of normal rules. But the longer the journey continues, the more confined it is starting to feel, deck upon deck, passenger upon passenger, all of them churning around each other without anywhere to go…
1939: Europe is on the brink of war when young Lily Shepherd boards an ocean liner in Essex, bound for Australia. She is ready to start anew, leaving behind the shadows in her past. The passage proves magical, complete with live music, cocktails, and fancy dress balls. With stops at exotic locations along the way—Naples, Cairo, Ceylon—the voyage shows Lily places she’d only ever dreamed of and enables her to make friends with those above her social station, people who would ordinarily never give her the time of day. She even allows herself to hope that a man she couldn’t possibly have a future with outside the cocoon of the ship might return her feelings.
But Lily soon realizes that she’s not the only one hiding secrets. Her newfound friends—the toxic wealthy couple Eliza and Max; Cambridge graduate Edward; Jewish refugee Maria; fascist George—are also running away from their pasts. As the glamour of the voyage fades, the stage is set for something sinister to occur. By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and Lily’s life will be changed irrevocably.
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Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys is a book filled with murder, mystery, scandal and love affairs during a time in history filled with uncertainty and fear. The book takes place in 1939 right at the outbreak of World War II and the setting is a cruise ship – I found this setting helped to set the book apart for all the other many books taking place in this time zone…
While I usually love most books set in this time period, there was something about this book that just fell short for me. It took me until I was about halfway in to pin-point what it was: this book is VERY character driven. The characters (and there are many) make the story – therefore, the historical time setting plays a smaller role in the story line.
Therefore, I am trying to focus on the story line while reviewing instead of the lack of historical intertwining in the story… Because the storyline was good! It was entertaining and keeps the reader engaged and interested. But the story could have been moved to any other time period and with some small tweeks would still work. However, Rhys still put together a novel that is enjoyable and beautifully written – I just wish I hadn’t got my hopes up for more war time intertwining.
* I received this book from Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review*