Carrin remembers a past life - on Titanic. And now she's being stalked by a ghost from the ship.
Lily the ghost is searching for her cousin. She's crossed time to find Lucie, but now time is running out.
One hundred years after the ship sank, Carrin's shipmates are gathered together to remember Titanic. But who can she trust - certainly not the man who drowned her. But can she even trust herself?
For Carrin has a terrible secret, one she's been hiding all her life. But at least Lily's on her side. Or so she thinks...
From the heat of the harsh Australian sun to the darkest depths of the ocean floor, Ship of Haunts is a novel of conflicts. Carrin is scared and Lily is desperate, both of them in a race against time. Will they manage to make it through, including surviving the vengeful Mad?
And when is it time to let the ghosts go?
Even before we sailed on Titanic, I knew all about her. She was the biggest, the best, the glossiest ship. Going on Titanic was the chance of a lifetime. I was proud, if nervous, and I meant to enjoy every minute. Elsa and I were supposed to sail on the Philadelphia, but the coal strike happened and that was that. What coal there was, was saved for the best and the best was Titanic. The coal was transferred and so were we.
We didn't know then, Titanic would sink. It seemed impossible.
Titanic was huge, ten storeys high. One hundred and seventy-five feet from the keel to the funnel tops. Sixty plus feet, from the waterline to the boat deck. Whichever way you told it, Titanic was big.
But despite all that, she could still sink.
Titanic was a legend, built in Belfast and launched in May, 1911. One year later, on 2nd April 1912, she left Belfast, heading for Southampton. The rest is history.
Titanic left Southampton on 10th April 1912. She was expected in New York a week later, but she never made it. On Monday 15th, at 2.20 in the morning, she sank.
Now Titanic's at the bottom of the sea, and so am I.
There were twenty-two hundred people on board Titanic, two thirds of whom died. If you were a man, or crew, or steerage, your chances weren't good. To put it mildly.
So many dead, so many lost, so why am I the only ghost?
At first I don't mind, there's a lot to see. I float right down to the ocean floor, climb back up, and sit on my bench. I wander around the bow where I can. Then I decide it's time to be brave. I think I'll visit the debris trail.
Titanic's innards, spilt all across the ocean floor. Fragments of lives, spread out like a banquet. I feast my eyes.
Cups and plates and bottles of wine. The wine's all gone.
Equipment and engines, broken and damaged, beyond repair.
A large propeller lies on the floor, covered in silt. I sit on its wings, expect it to move. Of course it doesn't.
The further I go, the harder it gets. There are boots and shoes and children's toys. There's even a dress, it looks like mine. It's a very dark colour, it might be green. I touch it lightly, it feels like serge, my Second Cabin dress. It can't be my dress, but it looks just like it.
I wasn't wearing the dress that night, it could be mine. There are shoes as well, they could be mine too. The clothes have an odour, a sense of loss. It's all so sad. There are other clothes too, strangers' clothes. Where are the people these clothes belonged to, where are their bodies? And where is mine?
All at once I'm very afraid, of what I might see. So I float away, back to Titanic.
Where, strangely enough, I feel safe.