Day Four
Sarah Lotz
Little, Brown and Company 2015

Between God, the devil and the deep blue sea, if you want something akin to the Titanic meets The Twilight Zone, creepy Day Four by Sarah Lotz is for you.Day Four: A Novel on Kindle

The story takes place during a post-Christmas cruise aboard The Beautiful Dreamer, which is populated by a large group of hopeful singles, elderly widows hell bent on suicide, a psychic medium and her devotees, and the gamut of dedicated to disgruntled crew members.  Everyone, it seems, has a deep, dark secret.

It’s day four, and the floating paradise is ravaged by a small fire, subsequent engine failure, and the malfunctioning of all electronics.  A young woman is found dead, the victim of too much alcohol, or perhaps something more frightening and intentional.  While staff continue to perform their duties, anxiety among the passengers mounts.  Days pass and the situation shifts from bad to worse, to unbearable.  Sanitation fails.  Food runs out, and the virus-infused Beautiful Dreamer becomes everyone’s worst nightmare.  Happy New Year!

Needless to say, people are ill, tensions are high, nerves are frayed.  The situation is ripe for the emergence of both heroes and cowards.

Day Four by Sarah Lotz proves to be initially very interesting.  As characters are developed and the story gains momentum it becomes more exciting and lures the reader in.  It is relate-able and easy to feel how miserable and stressful it would be on board.  This plot line, as well as the woman’s demise, comprise the very enjoyable best of Day Four.

Novels that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up are great, but when this story takes a surprise supernatural twist, it becomes more and more of a stretch until it is completely unbelievable.

Near the end, the writing style abruptly changes, which alters the mood and feel of the book; and in this reader’s opinion, not in a good way.

This being my first mystery by Sarah Lotz, I did not know what to expect.  If readers are fans of the author as well as the horror genre, they might very well enjoy the heavy supernatural component.  Unfortunately, this reader did not.