Dance on a Sinking Ship

Michael Kilian, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (419p) ISBN 978-0-312-01413-1
Although By Order of the President received favorable notices, Kilian's new book does little to live up to its glowing jacket copy. In this historical ""what-if'' novel, Edward, Prince of Wales sets off on a pleasure cruise in 1935, blithely ignoring the political storms wracking Europe as the Nazi regime flexes its power. Traveling with him on an ill-fated luxury oceanliner are his sharp-tongued American mistress, Wallis Simpson, and a host of bored, dissolute English aristocrats, including Lord and Lady Mountbatten. Also on board is a lovelorn, yet supremely cynical journalist, C. Jamieson Spencer, who is hoping to write a story on fellow passenger Charles Lindbergh. He watches, then joins the royal hangers-on in their tedious rounds of gaiety and bed-hopping, while Wallis and Edward spoon and spat, and German and Russian agents circle the group. Their collective mettle is testedand found wantingwhen the ship nearly burns to the waterline, and the royal party briefly takes to the lifeboats. The excitement stirred up in these calamitous scenes soon dies away, however. While Kilian's painstaking research on the speech and behavior of his celebrated characters is not to be faulted, its application lacks spark from the first and only proves that truth and fiction can be equally dull. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-553-27894-1
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