Alexander Galant, Depth of Deception

(2013-11-13 001)TitleDepth of Deception

Author: Alexander Galant

Publication Information: Published by Alexander Galant Entertainment, c2012

ISBN: 978-0-9879835-0-3

Library of Congress Classification: PS3607.A66278

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Titanic (Steamship)–Fiction
Mothers and sons–Fiction
Fathers and sons–Fiction
Insurance investigators–Fiction
Murder–Investigation–Fiction
Time travel–Fiction

I liked this book, although the very ending surprised me.

Once again, the Titanic serves as a backdrop, only this time most of the action takes place in 1982, before the ship was found. Archibald Hoffman, a wealthy, sleazy millionaire who survived the Titanic disaster with his wife and son, is planning to launch Titanic II and recreate the fateful voyage–sans iceberg, of course. This is scandalous to the survivors who are still alive, so the ship is renamed Titan though it looks remarkably like the Titanic.

The book begins with a British naval ship picking up a distress call and coming to the coordinates that were given by the ship, only there is no sinking ship, no wreck, no anything except a young woman floating on a piece of wood. She clutches a bear and Morgan Robertson’s book, Futility. The rescue team immediately goes into action, although it is assumed that she is already dead from lying in the freezing North Atlantic water and air. Surprisingly, she’s still alive. They get her to a hospital, where she cannot remember anything. The locket she wears has pictures of her son and husband.

Meantime Callum Toughill, a Lloyd’s of London investigator, is asked to solve the murder of Agatha Gilcrest, a woman killed seven decades before. The only thing stolen from Gilcrest was a diamond broach. Toughill’s grandfather had tried to prove the accused killer was innocent, but he was disgraced and drummed out of the Belfast police; the innocent man hung for the crime. This was why Toughill did not become a police detective. Now information exists that the broach might have been on the Titanic; if so, then Lloyd’s wants to know how it got on the ship since someone has just filed a claim.

From here, things move pretty fast. People to whom Toughill talks suddenly end up dead. Meanwhile, the woman found in the North Atlantic Ocean claims to be Myra Sloane Hoffman, the wife of Archibald Hoffman. She is in her late 20s-early 30s, so her claims are dismissed as delusional and she is under the care of a psychiatrist. Someone is also trying to kill her. When Edward Hoffman, son of Myra and Alexander, meets the woman, he is very disturbed, since he comes to believe that she may be his mother, who is still alive.

Edward likes the idea of time travel and he and Myra talk at length about it. The idea of moving forward in time intrigues Edward, and he mentions movies and books where the protagonist moves into the time stream. Myra doesn’t like the idea of time travel being forward and not back, since she hopes to return to her own time, but Edward tells her that Einstein’s theory only shows that forward movement in time is possible. Edward and Myra also talked about changing time, which was impossible to Edward. Parallel, alternate timelines would be created if someone was able to change something; the original timeline would continue on as well as the new alternate timeline.

I had a problem putting the book down. I needed to find out how it would end. Was Myra who she claimed to be? If so, how did she end up in 1982 and still be alive? How was the broach tied into all this? What about the Titan, and the Titanic? The only problem I had was with the very end. I’m not sure what to make of it. What happens goes back to the discussion that Myra and Edward had about time travel.

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