Anya Crichton is looking forward to spending some quality time with her son…even if he ex-husband is in tow. Shortly after boarding their all expenses paid cruise, a teenage girl is found dead. Is she a victim of excess or is there a killer on board? Unable to leave her work behind, Anya becomes involved in the investigation and soon finds out there’s more to the cruise industry than meets the eye.
I think this is the end of this series for me. Whilst I enjoyed the first few books, this one had exactly the same tone and problems that put me off the previous instalment. Kathryn Fox obviously wants to use her books as a sounding board to talk about violence against women, which is great, it’s just not done all that well. It comes across as a bit patronising to point out to the reader that it’s a “common misconception” that women who drink are after sex. That is an excuse, not what the majority of people actually believe and there are several moments where it feels the reader is being lectured on the obvious.
I also found it hard to believe that cruise ships, preserve of the middle class older generations, are full of drunken louts who spend their time hunting young women on board. And this cruise ship, which was just off the coast of America, was incapable of reaching outside help…for several days. It’s all a bit far-fetched and I didn’t find there was enough intrigue or tension to keep me turning the pages. It’s a shame, because it could have been such a good setting but I’m just not a fan of reading about how “normal” it is for women to be victims of horrible men.
Don’t let me put you off reading her earlier books though!