The Titanic Secret - Jack Steel

The Titanic Secret - Jack Steel

10 April, 1912 As the RMS Titanic leaves from Southampton Docks for her maiden voyage to New York, little do her 2,223 passengers dream of the powers at play on board the ship and the terrifying fate that awaits them far out in the icy wastes of the Atlantic. For on board the Titanic are three men – among the richest in America – who, with the President of the United States an unwitting pawn in their scheme, are about to make an announcement that will change the course of history. Aware of the gravity of the situation, the head of British Intelligence dispatches his best and most trusted agent, Alex Tremayne, onto the Titanic with one objective in mind – he has to stop the men from reaching New York, by whatever means necessary. Aided by the cooly beautiful American agent Maria Weston, is Alex prepared for the lengths he will have to go to to fulfil his mission?

We all know the story of the Titanic and as we acknowledge the 100th anniversary of its maiden and final voyage this year, it’s inevitable that there will be a deluge of books published in the coming months to mark this memorable date. Like many people I’ve had a fascination with the Titanic for as long as I can remember, I remember my parents telling me about the disaster and as a young lad with a keen interest in history I gorged on the history books trying to find out what happened. I was convinced I could discover the truth behind the conspiracy; youthful exuberance is a wonderful thing!

Jack Steel’s The Titanic Secret landed on my desk a short while ago, along with three other Titanic books and following a quick perusal of the book jacket I decided to read a fictional account of what could have happened on that fateful night in April 1912 rather than a true story – for now!

I loved the idea of the book and the most rewarding part of it for me was that it allowed my imagination to run riot as our protagonists explored the First Class accommodation, the smoking room and dining facilities. I felt part of the ship, so much so that I thought I was on the voyage myself, walking up the magnificent staircase, enjoying first class fayre and relaxing in sumptuous staterooms. It’s hard to imagine the life of the first class passenger on board the ship as I sit in my comfortable surrounds but Steel does a good job portraying the possibilities!

The narrative is a curious one. I found the first half of the book a little slow, the author taking his time and setting the scene with tales of espionage, murder and political conspiracy. It’s not until the main characters board the Titanic and begin to put their plan into action that the pace intensifies and the second half of the book flew by. With this in mind I think the book could have been 50 pages shorter.

I liked what Jack Steel did with the disaster and how he remained true to the actual events adding a little twists all of his own. There’s no getting away from the thousands who perished in the Atlantic and I’m glad to see Jack didn’t re-write history too much!

I enjoyed the partnership between Alex Tremayne and Maria Weston and watching their friendship slowly develop into trust and appreciation. They are both strong characters but it was Tremayne who stole the show with his experience and checked bravado. A great all round character, Tremayne is a wonderful action man, come spy, come assassin – is there nothing this man can’t do? He can even perform in the circus!

Published by Simon & Schuster, The Titanic Secret is available in Paperback and Kindle

448 pages — ISBN-10: 0857208624 — ISBN-13: 978-0857208620

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