FIRE AT SEA by Thomas Gallagher
Kirkus Star


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The Story of the Morro Castle while again a record of holocaust and havoc has- as well- many elements of enigma to match the grim interest of this disaster. For, while much of the blame could be brought to the Ward Line (the lack of life boats and preservers; the failure to send out an SOS; etc.) and the conduct of its personnel under stress (of the 98 to get away in the boats, 92 were members of the crew), still- it seems sure now that it was a deliberate act of arson which brought about the tragedy, and the incendiarist was one and the same as Rogers, the hero of of the trial which followed (the radio operative who stayed at his post). While the death of its Captain Wilmott, shortly after the ship left Havana, (heart? indigestion?) has never been entirely explained, Wilmott's suspicions of Rogers who would ""endanger"" the trip and the two unaccountable bottles brought aboard (one was sulphuric acid) were unfortunately fulfilled. Only years later, after Rogers had secured a post on a police force and built a bomb to dispose of his superior, was his past record revealed, giving the most likely answer to the earlier tragic Fire At Sea..... Eyewitness accounts along with official statements fill out the annals of this disaster and its frightful human devastation- and there should be a readily recognizable market- most recently that of Collision Course.

Pub Date: July 2nd, 1959
Publisher: Rinehart