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The Midnight Watch: A Novel of the Titanic and the Californian by David Dyer

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The Midnight Watch“The midnight watch: a time of loneliness, demons, and trances”.

The night the Titanic sunk, April 14th, 1912, was also the same night that the closest ship, the Californian had difficulty itself fighting the constant enclosing ice and avoiding icebergs.

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During the midnight watch on the Californian, a distress call was sent to them by the Titanic. The Californian’s captain, Captain Lord, chose to ignore all communications including lanterns using Morse Code, telegraph communications, and the sight of eight white rockets from the sinking Titanic

The rescued survivors of the Titanic in the rowboats actually could see the Californian in the distance and expected them to save them and those in the frozen ocean.

Fortunately for those in who were rescues, another ship, the Carpathian was further from the Titanic and collected those lucky survivors.
Unfortunately, thousands died in the ocean while hoping the nearby ship; the Carpathian would rescue them quickly.

However, the Carpathian did not come to their aid.

Eventually, communication between Carpathian and the Californian was established with directions for the Californian to search for bodies. For some reason, the Californian found none, of course, the location they supposedly looked was not correct.

The Midnight Watch is based on the investigation both in the United States and England regarding the role of the Carpathian and the choices made by Captain Lord.

Lord’s crew was torn between honesty and loyalty. On shipboard, everyone is expected to follow the captain through all situations even when he is either wrong or lying. For many of the crew, this conflicted with their values of honesty and the rules of the sea with loyalty to their captain.
The Midnight Watch is the fascinating story from various perspectives of the actual historical events. Viewing the disaster from different people in varying roles allows the reader to decide whether or not they agree with the final decisions.

Even with the disastrous event happening more than one-hundred years ago, The Midnight Watch is an investigative mystery into the past

The author, David Dyer, writes what he knows best. Having worked on various types of merchant vessels, and graduating from the Australian Maritime College, he worked as a lawyer at a London legal firm whose parent company represented the Titanic’s owners in 1912. Currently, he is employed as an English literature in Sydney.

Dyer has created an utterly enthralling journey in the Titanic’s disastrous past.