31 January 1921. A ship runs aground off the coast of South Carolina with no one on board save a starving cat. A fascinating, enduring mystery which sticks in the mind after you have read it. Bland Simpson unfortunately has been seduced by the siren voice of the current cultural horror, the faction novel, an ugly hybrid of myth, supposition and reality. An interesting story is constantly smothered and broken up by unwanted, speculative babbling of surviving relatives, insurance brokers, lighthouse keepers, etc, which Mr Simpson clearly thinks makes matters more interesting. They do not. It is much to the book's detriment as a perfectly gripping story lies here under all the waffle. Mr Simpson should either write some historical romantic fiction, as he gives me the impression that he may be a frustrated romantic novelist, or strip this book of the fey speculative narrative; it would be much better for it. Let's tow this wreck of a book out to sea, scuttle it, and launch the better book within. I rather resent the time I lost and will now never get back reading this book.