Title: The Secret Of The Sarah M.

Series: The Sarah M.; Book 1

Author: Robert J. Watson

Release Date: October 9, 2015

Publisher: Lysestrah Press

Genre: Nautical Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Suspense

Book Description:

Will he be able to unlock the secrets of the Sarah M. before it’s too late?

Following the death of his family on the Lusitania, Robert Birket inherits a legacy he never quite thought he’d have at his disposal. Bored with the steady life he leads, he dives head-first into the dark and seedy underground of the New York Prohibition. In his mind, it’ll provide him with the excitement and adventure that his life currently lacks.

Immersed in a world he never thought he’d set eyes on, Robert soon learns the ropes of a business that can make or break those who aren’t willing to follow the rules. It’s a survival-of-the-fittest mentality for those intent on staking a claim on the world around them. With the mob at his beck and call, he’s determined to make the most of the situations he now finds himself in.

Limited choices soon have Robert running for cover. Murder and violence follow his every wake, dragging him deeper and deeper into the pits of Hell. If he’s to succeed in coming out on top, he’ll need to stay one step ahead of those who seek to do him harm. With the mob’s eyes on every corner, that’s easier said than done.

His only choice is to dive into a legacy bequeathed to him by the one man who always believed in him. Discovering the secret of the Sarah M. is a necessity. One he knows he needs to decipher as soon as possible. His entire livelihood is at stake, and the mob is intent on having its due. The question is, how can he do that when there are so many eyes watching his every move?



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I felt the hand on my shoulder, shaking me gently.

“Mister Birket, do you wish me to begin, sir?”

I felt numb. I could cry no more tears. Gathering my thoughts and what strength I had left in me, I nodded at the padre. He moved slightly to my right. Silence fell over the deck as all eyes settled on me and the padre.

“We therefore commit his body to the deep, looking for the day of Resurrection in the last day, and the life of the world to come through our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose second coming in glorious majesty to judge the world. The sea shall give up her dead, and the corruptible bodies of those who sleep in him shall be changed, and made like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself. Lord, take into thy care the soul of Patrick Robert Birket.”

Standing there on the deck of the Sarah M., listening to the words of the padre, I felt detached. None of them had any effect on me. Around me, mourners had gathered out here on the main deck of the ship. Some of them were genuine in their grief. Others were there acting the part, waiting for the moment in which they would see what had been left to them.

I stood there, hoping I could find some peace in my own mind. I had never felt so alone in my entire life. I had tried to bury my grief deep inside me, and I had no intention of showing some of these parasites and leeches how I felt.

Six weeks and three days had passed since the attack on the ship, the Lusitania. My parents and my sister had been aboard when she’d been torpedoed. I could not fathom as to why they’d gone on the damned ship in the first place. Still, over the past couple of years, my dad made some strange decisions. This one, unfortunately, had cost him his life.

This final act of remembrance had been my father’s last wish. Each time he’d gone away, he’d always left a letter, telling me where everything was and in what order it should be done. I had stopped travelling with my family a couple of years back, preferring to stay at home and work. My own vacations had been taken in more fun places where I did not have to dress formally for dinner, or take a mountain of appropriate clothing for each occasion.

The Sarah M., the ship I was now standing on, had been my grandfather’s ship. He was of the old school kind. Ships sailed under canvas in his day. She had been his pride and joy. I had spent many a week on her during school, and later, during academy vacation times. I knew every stick and spar of her.

She was now a relic of a bygone era, and nothing more than a museum piece now. My father had retired her from the working fleet several years ago. This was the first time I had been aboard her in four years. She had lost some of her grace and beauty after my grandfather, Robert, had died. In his last will, he had left her to my father until I was of an age to take her over.

I had reached my twenty-first birthday two years ago. The Sarah M. had become mine, but it was never the same being aboard her as it had been with my grandfather. I maintained her for the sake of him, really. Thus, it was fitting that we’d gathered here today.