David Dyer's astonishing novel The Midnight Watch is based on the true story of the SS Californian, the ship that saw the Titanic's distress rockets and yet, unfathomably, did nothing. A psychological thriller. Sometimes the smallest of human failings can lead to the greatest of disasters. As the Titanic was sinking slowly in the wretchedly cold North Atlantic, she could see the lights of another ship on the horizon. She called for help by Morse lamp and the new Marconi telegraph machine, but there was no response. Just after midnight the Titanic began firing distress rockets. The other ship, the Californian, saw these rockets but didn't come. Why not? When the story of the disaster begins to emerge, it's a question that Boston American reporter John Steadman cannot let go. As soon as he lays eyes on the Californian's captain and second officer, he knows a story lurks behind their version of events. So begins his strange journey towards the truth. Haunted by the fifteen hundred who went to their deaths in those icy waters, and by the loss of his own baby son years earlier, Steadman must either find redemption in the Titanic's tragedy or lose himself. Based on true events, The Midnight Watch is at once a heart-stopping mystery and a deeply knowing novel - about the frailty of men, the strength of women, the capriciousness of fate and the price of loyalty. 'Just when you thought nothing else could be salvaged from the wreck of the Titanic, Dyer has excavated a beautifully sad story about the terrible cost of one moment of pride. You will have no idea just how good The Midnight Watch is until you have read the last page.' Malcolm Knox, The Age 'Engrossing historical fiction ...such an assured debut.' Stephen Romei, Weekend Australian 'We know the gist of this story so well by now, embedded as it is in western mythology, so there must be something pretty special going on with the writing of this book when you are reading it thinking- 'Maybe the boat won't sink! Maybe a rescue party will get there in time!" Alison Huber, head buyer, Readings 'Steadman spares no efforts in his pursuit of the truth, and we cannot help but follow him through this affecting tale that brings to life a world reeling from tragedy in the midst of fresh class disruption and the beginnings of the feminist movement. This excellent historical novel pushed me into new territory ...(The Midnight Watch) is a novel that is disarming, compelling and, most importantly, compassionate.' Chris Gordon, Readings Event Manager 'A gripping, expertly written tale.' Canberra Times 'A new take on (the Titanic) story that is utterly compelling. This is Dyer's debut novel and he writes with a reporter's passion for detail, while his sensitive cast of flawed storytellers paints
David Dyer grew up in a coastal town in NSW, Australia, and graduated as dux of his high school in 1984. After commencing a degree in medicine and surgery at the University of Sydney, he soon decided it was not for him. David went on to train as a ship's officer at the Australian Maritime College, travelling Australia and the world in a wide range of merchant ships. He graduated from the college with distinction and was awarded a number of prizes, including the Company of Master Mariners Award for highest overall achievement in the course. He then returned to the University of Sydney to complete a combined degree in Arts and Law. David was awarded the Frank Albert Prize for first place in Music I, High Distinctions in all English courses and First Class Honours in Law. From the mid-1990s until early 2000s David worked as a litigation lawyer in Sydney, and then in London at a legal practice whose parent firm represented the Titanic's owners back in 1912. In 2002 David returned to Australia and obtained a Diploma in Education from the University of New England, and commenced teaching English at Kambala, a school for girls in Sydney's eastern suburbs. David has had a life-long obsession with the Titanic and has become an expert on the subject. In 2009 he was awarded a Commonwealth Government scholarship to write The Midnight Watch as part of a Doctorate in Creative Arts at the University of Technology, Sydney. The doctorate was conferred in November 2013. David's research for The Midnight Watch took him to many and varied places around the world including libraries and sites of interest in New York, Boston, London and Liverpool. 'I spent days reading Lord's papers in the archive of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the highlight of whic
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