From the New York Times bestselling authors of The Forgotten Room comes a captivating historical mystery, infused with romance, that links the lives of three women across a century—two deep in the past, one in the present—to the doomed passenger liner, RMS Lusitania.
Her finances are in dire straits and bestselling author Sarah Blake is struggling to find a big idea for her next book. Desperate, she breaks the one promise she made to her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother and opens an old chest that belonged to her great-grandfather, who died when the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat in 1915. What she discovers there could change history. Sarah embarks on an ambitious journey to England to enlist the help of John Langford, a recently disgraced Member of Parliament whose family archives might contain the only key to the long-ago catastrophe. . . .
Southern belle Caroline Telfair Hochstetter’s marriage is in crisis. Her formerly attentive industrialist husband, Gilbert, has become remote, pre-occupied with business . . . and something else that she can’t quite put a finger on. She’s hoping a trip to London in Lusitania’s lavish first-class accommodations will help them reconnect—but she can’t ignore the spark she feels for her old friend, Robert Langford, who turns out to be on the same voyage. Feeling restless and longing for a different existence, Caroline is determined to stop being a bystander, and take charge of her own life. . . .
Tessa Fairweather is traveling second-class on the Lusitania, returning home to Devon. Or at least, that’s her story. Tessa has never left the United States and her English accent is a hasty fake. She’s really Tennessee Schaff, the daughter of a roving con man, and she can steal and forge just about anything. But she’s had enough. Her partner has promised that if they can pull off this one last heist aboard the Lusitania, they’ll finally leave the game behind. Tess desperately wants to believe that, but Tess has the uneasy feeling there’s something about this job that isn’t as it seems. . . .
As the Lusitania steams toward its fate, three women work against time to unravel a plot that will change the course of their own lives . . . and history itself.
Williams, Willig, and White (The Forgotten Room) form a spectacularly winning team for this action- and romance-packed historical novel. The story is seamlessly narrated in alternating chapters by two American women aboard the British luxury liner Lusitania on its fateful final cruise in 1915 and by a 21st-century writer trying to unearth a family secret. "What a story they told," writes struggling author Sarah, whose great-grandfather was a steward on the doomed passenger ship, while surveying the intriguing belongings returned after the ocean liner was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Convinced the items will lead to a bestseller, Sarah goes to London to enlist the help of John Lanford, the great-grandson of Lusitania survivor and spy novelist Robert, to reconstruct a murky conspiracy aboard the ship; they end up testing the boundaries of love and trust. The other richly drawn narrations are provided from aboard the Lusitania itself by Southern beauty Caroline, who is sailing with her secretive industrialist husband, Gilbert, and by steerage passenger Tess, pressed into a high-risk forgery by her con artist sister, Ginny. The story toggles effortlessly between timelines, building romance and intrigue to a hellish climax at the Lusitania's sinking and to the completion of a book Sarah never intended to write 100 years later. The result is an unputdownable thriller.