As the Titanic and her passengers sank slowly into the Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg late in the evening of April 14, 1912, a nearby ship looked on. Second Officer Herbert Stone, in charge of the midnight watch on the SS Californian sitting idly a few miles north, saw the distress rockets that the Titanic fired. He alerted the captain, Stanley Lord, who was sleeping in the chartroom below, but Lord did not come to the bridge. Eight rockets were fired during the dark hours of the midnight watch, and eight rockets were ignored. The next morning, the Titanic was at the bottom of the sea, and more than 1,500 people were dead.
When they learned of the extent of the tragedy, Lord and Stone did everything they could to hide their role in the disaster, but, pursued by newspapermen, lawyers, and political leaders in America and England, their terrible secret was eventually revealed.
The Midnight Watch is a fictional telling of what may have occurred that night on the SS Californian and the resulting desperation of Officer Stone and Captain Lord in the aftermath of their inaction. Told not only from the perspective of the SS Californian crew but also through the eyes of a family of third-class passengers who perished in the disaster, the narrative is drawn together by Steadman, a tenacious Boston journalist who does not rest until the truth is found.
David Dyer's The Midnight Watch is a powerful and dramatic debut - the result of many years of research in Liverpool, London, New York, and Boston and informed by the author's own experiences as a ship's officer and a lawyer.
©2016 David Dyer (P)2016 Macmillan Audio
This book gives the reader a keen insight into what can happen when good people fail to take action. The story focuses on the fact that a ship called The Californian was very nearby on the night Titanic went down. They saw her distress rockets and did nothing to help her. I had never heard about this but I believe the story is based on fact. So intriguing that so many lives might have been saved had the Californian responded. Why didn't she respond? Well as the book unfolds we learn more about those individuals and why they likely did not respond. I enjoyed the book and narrator very much.
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