Publication Date: September 2017
Genre: Thriller/ Suspense
“A cruise ship is the perfect target for a biological attack”. These are the chilling words emailed to the Seaborne Symphony in the mid-Atlantic.
Magazine editor Geneva Jones has been sent on the trans-Atlantic cruise to help secure a major advertising agreement from the CEO of the cruise line Rachel Atkinson, but her efforts to win her over are curtailed by a mysterious crew death. Geneva suspects foul play. Rachel insists its suicide. A former investigative journalist, Geneva can’t resist digging deeper, but what she finds is far more devastating. There’s an Ebola outbreak on the ship, everyone is trapped aboard and Rachel is trying to keep it secret.
Geneva knows enough about Ebola to be terrified, but she’s also onto the biggest story of her career. As panic surges through the ship, she becomes fixated on a single question. How was the virus brought aboard? The answer is worse than she could have imagined, and the greatest exposé she’ll ever get, if she can only prove it.
You know when you read the premise of a book and just know it’s going to be something you enjoy? Well, one sitting later and I knew this was that kind of book.
I’m not convinced that the synopsis of the book does it full justice though, it doesn’t really hint at the fast paced action and intrigue that were the main hooks for me with this book. Events follow on from each other pretty quickly while you try to figure out exactly what’s going on.
Geneva is a cruise journalist, paid to write about the services on board cruises but she’s an investigative journalist at heart and she knows that there’s something suspicious going on onboard the ship, though when people start getting ill and the suspected flu turns into something much worse, she as clueless as everyone else. As the crew lose control of the ship when people start dropping like flies, Geneva begins to dig deeper to find out if anyone saw this disaster coming. It’s not entirely unpredictable as these things go and relies on some of the old tropes like an intrepid female reporter, but it’s definitely on the more entertaining end of the spectrum – I hope Ebelthite doesn’t shy away from going even darker in his future novels because I think his imagination will take us to some amazing places.
From the afterword to the book, it seems like the author was worried that people would find the events of this book impossible – to that I say: don’t worry. Anyone without the imagination to believe this kind of thing could happen, shouldn’t be reading fiction. For me, the important part was that the descriptions and progression of the virus were well researched – it gives an author all kind of leeway to use a virus in fiction as long as the science behind it is right.
This book is for fans of thrillers and claustrophobic disaster novels, give it a go!
About the Author:
Shaun Ebelthite was born in Namibia, raised in South Africa and educated in Dubai in the Middle East where he is a maritime and cruise journalist. He has been covering all aspects of ocean transport for more than five years and runs the Middle East’s foremost online cruise magazine. He has had two children’s books published, and is now branching out into a new genre with his first thriller.
Cruise Arabia (https://cruisearabiaonline.com)