I purchased this novel from a used book store a couple of years ago. While not one of my favorite finds, the title intrigued me. I love anything about the Titanic.
Mystery…murder…money on board the world’s most famous and tragic ship.
This fictional story is centered around Henry Blexill, an English butler who was plucked from his life long place of work in London by a rich American banker. Accustomed to being treated like family from his previous employer, Henry is treated very differently at his new place of service. His boss, Thaddeus Tarr, is a brutish man intent on making even more money to add to his substantial wealth. One of the things that he stresses to Henry is loyalty. Anyone working for Thaddeus Tarr must be loyal to him and only him.
Henry soon realizes that not only is Tarr the most greedy man he has ever met, but also the most ruthless. Tarr becomes furious when people have things that he doesn’t; a characteristic that hurts his reputation more than he knows. He is intent on matching the wealth of his main competitor, J.P. Morgan.
Despite Tarr’s insistent rules of royalty, Henry is fired for breaking this key rule. Henry flees from the Tarr’s summer residence after being caught in bed with Tarr’s mistress. Before leaving the grounds, Henry discovers a bloodied fire poker and realizes that Tarr has blood on his hands. Fearing for his life, Henry returns to New York and snags a job as a wine steward with the White Star Line.
Not long after joining the White Star Line, Henry is able to secure a job on the company’s newest ship, the Titanic. The Titanic was said to be the biggest and grandest ship that had ever been built. There were even rumors that the man-made ship was unsinkable, not even God Himself could sink that ship. Naturally, Thaddeus Tarr and his family were sailing on Titanic’s maiden voyage. However, Tarr isn’t looking to enjoy rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s wealthiest, he’s looking to uphold his position as a wealthy businessman despite the fact that he is losing millions because of his falling stocks. Despite the dangers that surround Tarr and his unsavory way of business, he can’t escape his pursuers even in the middle of the Atlantic.
When Henry realizes that his previous employer is on the ship he becomes obsessed with bringing Tarr to justice for the crimes he has committed. He attempts to find out who has followed Tarr on the Titanic with the intent on murder. Although he discovers the identity of the assailant, it’s too late. The Titanic had already struck the deadly iceberg and was sinking head first into the Atlantic ocean.
Even though Titanic has an intriguing plot, the storyline doesn’t bring many results. Some scenes tend to become a bit dry and even seem out of place. One particular example was the emphasis on Henry’s relationship with a woman named Kittie. They meet after Henry becomes a wine steward for the White Star Line. The explanation of their relationship is short, but Henry secures a position for her on the Titanic as a second class stewardess. The last we read of her occurs when the crew is desperately trying to board passengers on life boats. With one last kiss and the promise to meet up in New York, Kittie is places on a life boat and lowered into the frigid Atlantic. The novel ends abruptly with Henry being hoisted out of the ocean not long after the ship is completely submerged. We never find out if he makes it to New York to start a happy life with Kittie.