Set on board the Titanic, Unsinkable is a mystery that follows Arthur Beck, former Scotland Yard member looking to start over in America after being part of a horrific incident that has sent him into a downward spiral. He is not on board long, however, when he spies the man he believes is responsible for the taking of the lives of three fellow policemen, and Beck feels he must alert both Captain Smith and Bruce Ismay of the presence. Meanwhile, he captures the attention of reporter Martha Heaton, who easily surmises he is up to something as he conducts his investigation. The story moves between the two as Beck tracks down the mysterious killer and Martha endeavors to find out what is going on. Interspersed with the tales of those two we meet Sten-Ake, a Norwegian cancer victim whose presence ends up being more vital than it would seem at first.
Unsinkable is a well-written mystery, though not a particularly layered one. Beck’s nervousness is palpable as he moves about the ship, and Martha’s tenaciousness allows us to access areas and people on board that we might not normally have seen. In fact, Martha’s feminist attitudes in first class were the only piece I didn’t really buy about this novel, as she was often abrupt and abrasive. Still, the book moves along at good clip, and it’s very obvious to this Titanic buff that the author knows his stuff. In the end, the title becomes about more than just the ship; I really enjoyed seeing how it all played out and cannot help wondering what happens next. A fun, intriguing tale.