An ageing cruise ship, The Beautiful Dreamer, enjoys three uneventful days at sea. On day four, the ship suddenly stops and, with no electricity and food running out, its passengers find their “singles cruise” stops being a beautiful dream and becomes a nightmare.
The story is quite well written and with a pace and tempo that carries the reader merrily along in the early stages but this story, rather like the ship itself, drifts away and loses direction. I found it to be a confused affair, part crime novel (a young girl has been murdered), part thriller and part supernatural / horror. Without spoiling the tale, it even takes on elements of a conspiracy novel later on. Sadly, for me, it falls down the gaps between these genres and doesn’t adequately occupy any niche and I think it struggles to find its identity. For me, the supernatural element, whilst hinted at, doesn’t adequately develop.
Also, there is a confusing array of characters, some that I felt were superfluous, and each with a variety of “personal issues” thrown in for good measure; drink, sexual orientation, dark pasts etc.
Don’t get me wrong, it is an enjoyable enough story and I urge you to give it a go and decide for yourself. However, throughout the book, I kept wondering (probably unfairly) how it could have been handled in the hands of someone like Stephen King.
My Rating: 2.5* out of 5.0*
PUBLICATION DATE: 21st May 2015
Published by Hodder & Stoughton
Page Count: 352