[Minor spoilers ahead]
I finished Atlantic Black by AS Patric a week or so ago, and I should have written the review then, and here’s why….
I can’t remember the main character’s name… which is quite telling.
She was a 17yo Russian (I think) ambassador’s daughter so let’s call her Katerina. The book is set over 24 hours (New Year’s Eve) on a cruise ship from Mexico to somewhere in Europe (France?). Katerina boards with her mother, who shortly after has a psychotic episode. This allows Katerina to roam the boat for 24 hours unsupervised. She gets up to all sorts of things I guess ambassador’s daughters did in the 1930s, which makes me glad I don’t have a daughter.
The writing was very engaging, it just didn’t go anywhere. I think that’s why I kept reading, expecting *something* to happen. Her mother made a miraculous recovery towards the end of the book (Was she really ill? Did she actually die?) and it barely rated a blip in Katerina’s self-absorption.
There were a lot of secondary characters, passengers and crew. They come in and out of the story – ships passing in the night (see what I did there) – reappearing again and me needing to backtrack to work out who they were and how they connected. Her father and brother are characters by letters and neither of the reveals about them were particularly surprising. The twist at the end was more of ‘oh, is that it…’ and ‘who was that guy again’.
Rating: 2 stars (check my book review scale) – November 2018 Book Group book
Update: Tis in fact called Atlantic Black… Very memorable [sarcastic font]