Page Count 320
Publication date March 2020/ Publisher Random House
Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic. This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner’s illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers – including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher – are convinced that something sinister is going on… And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.
Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not – could not – have survived the sinking of the Titanic…
This is my second read from Alma, following The Hunger based on the Dylatov pass. I really enjoy the accuracy of her historical fiction, the language used and detailed descriptions of surroundings transport the reader to that exact time and place. Knowing that the idea for The Deep was sparked by an actual survivor of both the Titanic and Brittanic made it all the more real.
I always like when authors inject character detail using articles from bystanders. There’s no need for unnecessary background just short simple additions to the plot. Alma does this wonderfully using letters, news articles and diary entries from friends, relatives and doctors.
Told in third person and excerpts, the plot revolves around young maid Annie and her voyage aboard both ships.
The Deep is a historical, supernatural, paranormal love story, a haunting and beautiful tale of the sea.
Alma weaves some fascinating character development, each passenger Annie tends to has a full enriching back story- some of which tie seamlessly together later in the novel.
I enjoyed unravelling the secrets of each character so much so that at times I forgot I’d actually come for the spooks!
The Deep is a slow burning, emotionally charged novel that builds to a frightening but passionate end.
*Many thanks to Random House @ Netgalley for my copy.