A FATAL CROSSING by Tom Hindle

November 1924. The Endeavour sets sail to New York with 2,000 passengers – and a killer – on board . . .

When an elderly gentleman is found dead at the foot of a staircase, ship’s officer Timothy Birch is ready to declare it a tragic accident. But James Temple, a strong-minded Scotland Yard inspector, is certain there is more to this misfortune than meets the eye.

Birch agrees to investigate, and the trail quickly leads to the theft of a priceless painting. Its very existence is known only to its owner . . . and the dead man.

With just days remaining until they reach New York, and even Temple’s purpose on board the Endeavour proving increasingly suspicious, Birch’s search for the culprit is fraught with danger.

And all the while, the passengers continue to roam the ship with a killer in their midst . . .


Title : A Fatal Crossing
Author : Tom Hindle
Format : Physical ARC
Page Count : 449
Genre : Historical Murder Mystery
Publisher : Century Books
Release Date : January 20, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
High seas mystery
Crew, toffs, mob and conmen

This historical murder mystery set on an atlantic crossing in the 1920s is unlike my usual reading choices but it turned out to be a good choice nonetheless. This was a story that started out with what seemed to be a reasonably easy to fathom death that may or may not be a crime. All this evolved into an incredibly knotted web of shenanigans. I was hooked from the first chapter.

The story brought two key characters in Birch, the ship’s officer and Temple, the policeman who happened to be on the boat; don’t ever believe in coincidences. Birch really had my heartstrings with his rather tragic past and depressed nature. I liked him a lot and felt him to be the intergrity compass of the piece. Temple seemed shady from the start with a slice of maybe he’s okay.

Side entrance to some stolen artwork, a lot of entitled toffs, a few characters from third class and a the crew being encouraged to hide what was happening to 2000 passengers. I read avidly, there was a bit of a lull after midway but then it picked up again.

There were some incredible twists to the plot, none more than the final twist. I would never have seen that coming and I really didn’t sense any foreshadowing even on reflection. Raymond maybe had me wondering at something but I wasn’t sure what.

This was a great debut, a great whodunnit that was really well crafted and written.

Thank you to Sarah Harwood PR and Century Books for the early review copy.

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