Wednesday, April 8, 2015

DEAD WAKE by Erik Larson

The Lusitania was sunk in May 1915 by U-20, despite its being the fastest liner afloat. British intelligence was tracking the ship, bearing a number of American women and children as it left New York for Liverpool, but never told anyone about it. And no ships were sent to guard it. Could it be they wanted it sunk to bring America into WW1? The subject has been covered before, but this is the first time in such a literary way, with some new viewpoints never previously explored. It is 100 years ago now, which is one of the reasons that Erik Larson wrote DEAD WAKE. He did extensive research on the subject, including looking at mortuary photos of some of the 1200 victims. Captain Schwieger of U-20 left papers that offered a chilling way of going between the ship's passengers and the submarine's. Narrated by Scott Brick (see interview this website), the book is entertaining and memorable in its detail and sophistication by an author with a knack for creating and sustaining suspense.

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