There is no doubt that the author is a keen observer of human nature as well as the weaknesses we all possess. If you are comfortable with a strong element of revenge and an equally strong sense of preserving personal wealth you will enjoy this story. The characters are portrayed by the nameless narrator in all their aspects and relationships go back a long way. Maybe we live the mundane life, finding it difficult to relate to excessive wealth and power, but some parts of this story are hard to relate to.
The nameless narrator used to love his father’s stories about how he would light fires, often in railway stations, and then don his uniform to help put them out. He has also developed a penchant for fire lighting and has his deceased father’s cigarette lighter. He is discovered by an incredibly wealthy woman, who seeks to lure a person of interest on to her luxurious private yacht. Kirstin McKinley, the captain of the yacht and planner of the deadly cruise, uses the narrator as her private secretary and right hand man.
He in turn sees a way of settling some grievances of his own, inviting other people to journey to Antarctica on Kirstin’s yacht. The sumptuous boat is called the Queen Mary and as Kirstin takes the guests on a tour she points out that there may be a ghost appearing and not to be concerned. We learn more about the group of people who believe they have won their ticket in a lottery. The clever way the author unravels the connection between the passengers’ and the Captain’s needs, keeps us guessing until the end.
For readers who enjoy the realms of revenge, and savage storytelling, this will be an enjoyable read. It evokes no compassion for any of the characters, just outlining the basest of human behavior, and addiction to wealth. For many there is a sense of amusement and justice to be found here.