Tuesday 7 September 2021

Book ~ "The Stowaway" (2021) James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth

From Goodreads ~ Two years ago, Maria Fontana was the deciding vote on a jury that set alleged serial killer Wyatt Butler free. Now she and her family are enjoying vacation on a two week long transatlantic cruise. But when passengers are discovered brutally murdered in a similar way to Butler's ritualistic MO, the ship goes on lockdown. 

Maria, one of only twelve people in the world with intimate knowledge of the case, faces a perilous ticking clock. Is it a copycat? Or is she trapped on board with the bloodthirsty maniac she chose to set free?

I like the Impractical Jokers and often watch it,  James "Murr" Murray is one of the Jokers so that's why this book caught my eye.

Maria was on the jury of a murder case of Wyatt Butler who was accused of killing and dismembering children.  When he is acquitted, the public start emotionally and physically attacking the jurors for weeks and months afterwards.  To stop the abuse of the other jurors, Maria holds a press conference and admits she was the deciding vote.

Fast forward two years and Maria, her fiancé and her two young children are taking a two week cruise across the Atlantic Ocean.  Passengers start turning up dead or missing and Maria suspects Wylie is on the ship or there is a copycat killer.  She works with the head of security, once she convinces him she knows what's she's talking about, to catch the killer.

This was a quick read (I read it in a day).  I thought the writing could have been tighter.  The word "exsanguination" was used many times ... I had no idea what it meant so had to look it up.  As a head's up, there is swearing and violence, especially against children.  I found it interesting that for someone so funny on TV has such a twisted imagination.

I wasn't crazy about the story.  I found the storyline once Maria and her family got on the ship farfetched.  She sees a weird looking man within five minutes on the ship and immediately assumes he's up to something and it has to do with the murder case she'd been a juror on.  A bit of a stretch, I thought.  At the end, because she is a psychologist, she knows how the killer's mind works and takes actions to mess with his mind.  Really?  It was obvious who the killer was as soon as they were introduced in the story.  I wasn't buying the who, the how or the why ... I thought it was silly.

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