Title: White Water, Black Death
Author(s): Shaun Ebelthite
No. of pages: 284
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Date read: August 20th 2018
Magazine editor Geneva Jones has been sent on a trans-Atlantic cruise to help secure a major advertising agreement from the CEO of the cruise line Rachel Atkinson, but her efforts to win her over are curtailed by a mysterious crew death. Geneva suspects foul play. Rachel insists its suicide. A former investigative journalist, Geneva can’t resist digging deeper, but what she finds is far more devastating. There’s an Ebola outbreak on the ship, everyone is trapped aboard and Rachel is trying to keep it secret.
Geneva knows enough about Ebola to be terrified, but she’s also onto the biggest story of her career. Rachel turns Geneva’s own colleagues against her when she tries to investigate, so she enlists the help of her son, Aaron Atkinson, whom Rachel adopted from Uganda seven years ago, when he was a teenager. Now an isolated and vaguely broken adult, he’s an easily manipulated source. At least that’s what Geneva thought. Off the coast of Bermuda, with the ship anchored in quarantine, Aaron makes a public announcement informing passengers of the outbreak.
Panic surges through the ship. People begin jumping overboard, ignoring a ship-wide lockdown. The ship’s security start to lose control, tasering passengers indiscriminately. A mayday is declared in front of the world’s media, but Bermuda refuses to open its maritime border. The ship limps toward Miami, with more than half of everyone aboard sick. Rachel shocks everyone by resigning after a public lounge is converted into an apocalyptic triage clinic. Geneva has lost her story, Ebola can’t be treated on-board and the nearest help is more than 3,000 miles away.
I was so intrigued by this book’s blurb and I got what I wanted when I started reading it. And more. This book was full of everything that could possibly go wrong when hundreds of people are packed on a cruise ship. When something (like a murder or epidemic outbreak) goes wrong, you have nowhere to flee to. Sounds like the absolute nightmare!
After and while reading this book I got quite aware of the places that get used by lots of people in a day and don’t get cleaned too often. Like hand rails on the stairs, buttons for the elevator, pin machines and so on. In other words, many of the things I make use of when I’m at work (I work at a train station …). Yep, it made me kind of afraid to touch things. Besides that, it also made me remember the time when there was an ebola outbreak, also here in the Netherlands, a couple of years ago. If people only mentioned they were feeling a little funny, others were immediately scared of it being ebola. In the book it was even worse, because it was a case of bioterrorism and the people simply couldn’t escape becoming infected. They all knew they would be next and that they would most likely die … soon.
The only thing that made this a less emotional read, was that I didn’t really felt any connection to the characters. Except for maybe Sarah and her baby son Zack. I felt SO sad for them – it was absolutely awful and one of the end-events definitely left me with a lump in my throat.
So, if you like thrillers that leave you with a slight claustrophobic feeling and a feeling of “how can this possibly end well?!”, this is the right book for you! It definitely was a great read and I really enjoyed it!
* An ecopy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. *