Alma Webster lives a life of make believe thanks to the romance novels she enjoys reading. After an appointment with her dentist, Walter Baranov, make believe becomes reality as she falls head-over-heels in love. Soon, inspired by the real-life case of Doctor Crippen, the pair are plotting the murder of Walter’s wife and planning to embark on a new life in America.
Set mainly on board the ocean liner Mauretania, in 1921, the tale takes a dramatic twist when a body is disvovered in the water but it is not the body of Walter’s wife, Lydia. To compound matters even further, Mr Baranov has assumed a false identity whilst onboard the ship – that of Walter Dew, the police inspector credited for the capture of the aforementioned Doctor Crippen! Soon, Walter is being called upon to investigate the murder…
This is an excellent read and was genuinely a book I struggled to put down. The characters are extremely well-written and no loose ends are left at the end of the story. Several historical events are woven successfully into the tale and help to build up an image of events that were occurring at that time.
Any book that is described as ‘A masterpiece’ by the late, great Ruth Rendell has to be worth a read!