Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
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Detail-dropping hurts a decent mystery
am 4. Mai 2000
At first it seems promising- a Titanic novel with real characters, and it's not a romance either. These are both very, very rare things in this field, so despite the title I awaited The Titanic Murders with eagerness. Once I actually read it, though, I found myself disappointed. It is researched carefully, with a great attention to detail, but the use of said details is probably its greatest fault. Collins drops details the way another person would drop names- he can't seem to resist the urge to toss every possible character, incident and reference from the Titanic into his story, and they aren't that well-integrated either. The effect, rather than one of refreshing reality, ends up being more irritating than anything else. Another issue was that, given Collins' care in having every character be a real person, he did not seem to bother to learn much about the real personalities of some. His vastly out-of-character version of J. Bruce Ismay is not only absolutely nothing like the man, it's not even much like the stereotypes of him from later Titanic movies and literature. He seems to have made this beyond-arrogant, aggressive and tricky-minded person of which he writes up out of whole cloth. At least he got the physical description perfectly (the 6'4" Ismay has been turned into a short man in Titanic novels before) as well as a few aspects and habits (the nervous smile) that were fact-based. Most of the rest of the cast (except Futrelle himself, about whom I don't know enough to judge) also struck me as slightly stereotyped. I do have to commend Collins on his writing of the mystery story itself and on the characterization of his star. His research, though I didn't like the way it was applied, was stunning and made this possibly the most factual fictional Titanic. The reader can tell that Collins is a Titanic historian himself and knows a good amount about Futrelle. I'm not saying don't buy this book by any means; the personal annoyance I felt at it will certainly not be felt by everyone.