It is 1982, and a woman is discovered floating in the ocean. She is still alive. What is equally amazing and puzzling is that she claims to be a survivor from the Titanic, and possesses items such as a first class ticket for the Titanic and a cumbersome dress from that period.
While the woman, who claims to be Myra Hoffman, defies the laws of science with her speedy physical recovery after being in the ice-cold Atlantic, it is much harder to reconcile her belief that she is a survivor of the Titanic that sank seventy plus years ago or the mother of famed psychologist, Edward Hoffman.
Meanwhile, in England, Callum Toughill is a private insurance investigator hired to determine if a brooch that was owned by an Agatha Gilcrest, who was murdered seventy plus years ago, was aboard the Titanic when it sank. As Toughill delves deeper into the case that destroyed his grandfather’s reputation as a police officer and ultimately led to his death; Toughill unearths family secrets, lies and deception and finds a connection to the Hoffman case. But he must reveal the truth before the person murdering his witnesses kills Toughill.
Galant masterfully weaves together a multi-layered plot that doles out clues to keep the reader hooked and guessing. Each chapter moves from the story of one character to the next, from the setting in America to that in England, and ends with a cliffhanger, thereby creating a fast-paced read.
Galant’s well-developed, palpable characters evolve through frugal narrative and dialogue; their motivational force behind their actions is effectively set up. Edward Hoffman is the psychologist who is bent on proving that Myra is a fraud, yet is drawn to her and the impossibility that she is his mother by vague memories and an intuitive response. Myra, a woman seemingly lost at sea and in time, reveals a quiet strength, an intelligence and instinct for survival that adds to her mysteriousness. Toughill, jaded by his ‘second choice’ profession, is driven to solve the mystery that may clear his grandfather’s name.
Glalant’s editorial note at the beginning of the book states that American scenes use American spelling while for British scenes he uses British spelling, however it is a moot point since the flow of the novel is natural and strong characterization and descriptive narrative captures the American or English nuances for each setting. This book also contains an excerpt from Alexander Galant’s next book: Bloody Mary Kelly, which is to be published in 2013.
DEPTH OF DECEPTION’s complex plot and fresh characters are captivating – a first class read.
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader