Ben Spier
October 20, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

When the Dancing Stopped

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Brian Hicks
publisher
The Free Press
genre
Nonfiction, History

We gave it an A-

Titanic fans, take heed: Brian Hicks’s briskly paced, richly detailed book When the Dancing Stopped recounts the equally horrific final voyage of the cruise liner Morro Castle, one of the fastest and most opulent of her day. On Sept. 8, 1934, the ship caught fire, lifeboats burned, passengers and crew leaped into churning seas, and 134 perished before it ran aground near Asbury Park, N.J. Hicks recounts the Morro‘s seamy history (brutal labor conditions, gunrunning, a captain found dead in his bathroom) and the wreck’s squalid aftermath (locals made the charred hulk a tourist attraction), building a sketchy but plausible case blaming the disaster on a cold-blooded killer.

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