The Master's TaleBuy it now!

I had postponed purchase, waiting for the ‘Kindle’ edition, but my curiosity got the better of me. I’m glad it did. It is a long time since I picked up a book and read it without a break except for meals, walking the dog, and half-a-night’s sleep. This novel brings its characters to life, providing the missing human element (even if, of course, fictional) where others writing about the Titanic story have provided only facts and speculation. One strength of the book is the clearly meticulous research that has also characterized the previous novels by this author, aided by her personal experiences (which I suspect merit a book in themselves). Another strength is the way in which the author effortlessly elicits in the reader immediate empathy for her central character. Once or twice I thought I would have liked to have stayed with a scene a little longer before starting a new chapter, but then I recognized the writer’s skill in setting the pace for the reader, which is just right. In fact the whole book has just the right balance of factual basis and fictional flair, and of narrative and emotion. It is eloquent and moving. It goes beyond being merely a hugely enjoyable book: it has powerful imagery of the life and times of the rush to steam and the early years of the 20th century, focusing especially on the pressures that accompany the responsibilities of command and leadership. The only complaint about it came from the dog, which was marched along at a fair old pace as I wanted to get back to the book. You will not regret buying this new novel.