There is nothing quite as terrifying as looking past the shuffle board courts on a cruise ship, and into the vast, unforgiving blackness of the open seas. Now, add a serial killer to the mix, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a great thriller! Here are six reasons why a cruise ship is the perfect setting for a serial killer novel (but don’t worry–the Impractical Jokers cruise is safe and sound!):
Confined Spaces & Tight Quarters
Though the average cruise ship is approximately one thousand feet long, those one thousand feet can start feeling pretty small after a few days. And let’s be honest–most cabins on a cruise ship are about the size of a college dorm room. Just thinking about those tiny showers can give you claustrophobia. It’s that feeling of being trapped with nowhere to go that sets the perfect stage for our serial killer’s cat-and-mouse game to unfold.
The Paranoia of Seeing the Same Faces Over and Over Again
Sometimes, being on a cruise ship can feel a lot like summer camp: a gathering of new, smiling people who will inevitably become good friends before the whole experience is over. On the other hand, fleeting glances from that same creepy dude that you’ve passed twenty times already in the last two hours can really amp up the paranoia. On a cruise ship, it’s easy to feel like you’re being followed. And on the HMS Atlantia, odds are, someone is following you…
The Vastness of the Ocean
Just beyond the bright lights of the dance floors and the promenades, the dark swirling depths of the unknown splash against the hull with every passing second. Most of us don’t expect to spend any actual time in the water when we go on a cruise. So, if going overboard is one of your biggest fears—and it should be—this book might be the perfect read to get your heart racing and haunt your dreams.
Help Is Thousands of Miles Away
Cruising can take you to some of the most remote waters on Earth. And while the security teams onboard might be well-equipped to handle disorderly conduct or the occasional drunken brawl, a methodical, deranged serial killer lurking amongst the passengers is beyond the scope of your typical cruise crisis training. Thousands of miles away from land, you’re completely isolated from quick access to police, medical assistance, and even the chance of rescue if something were to go catastrophically wrong. Let’s face it. Your ship is on its own.
Lack of Supervision — For Kids and Adults
If you’re a parent who’s ever been on a cruise, you probably know what a relief it is to let your kids off the proverbial “leash.” While you relax at the pool, they’re free to run around until their legs give out. The boat itself is a limited space, so how could they possibly get lost? Unfortunately, for the kids on the HMS Atlantia, our killer has a knack for finding unattended children. And while most adults onboard are focused on enjoying their own trip, it can be easy to miss the warning signs that a fellow passenger might not be who they say they are…
The 24-Hour Buffet Makes You Want to Die Anyway
As much as I’ve loved my cruising experiences, there are times when the onboard meals haven’t been too kind to my waistline. After a long day of drinking, nothing seems like a better idea than eating every single lukewarm hotdog and basket of soggy fries sitting out in the dining hall. And believe me, when it’s late at night and no one’s looking, I’m going back for another piece of cheesecake. At that point, a serial killer onboard wouldn’t have to work too hard to catch me, especially if I’m in a food coma.
Order the Book
James S. Murray; Darren Wearmouth
Two years ago, Maria Fontana, the head of the Psychology Department at Columbia University, sat on a jury for one of the most depraved cases ever to pass through the hallowed halls of City Hall. Wyatt Butler, an antique watch restorer and alleged serial killer, was portrayed in the courtroom as a brutal monster. But Maria had to make the tough choice. In good conscience, she couldn't convict him based purely on circumstantial evidence, and her deciding vote set Wyatt Butler free. The media soon outed her as the lone juror and her successful and quaint life was turned upside down. The victims of Wyatt's ritualistic killings never forgave her either.
Now, she and her family have decided to take a vacation to get away from everything: a two-week-long transatlantic cruise. Nothing, and nobody should be able to bother her there. With her two twins and her fiancé Steve, she is set to put the past behind her as soon as the ship leaves port. But when a passenger mysteriously disappears, Maria is left to wonder if maybe this was no coincidence. When another passenger is discovered brutally murdered in a similar way to Butler’s ritualistic MO, the ship goes on lockdown.
Maria, one of only twelve people in the world with intimate knowledge of the case, faces a perilous ticking clock. Is it a copycat? Or is she trapped on board with the bloodthirsty maniac she chose to set free?
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