Persuaded to go by his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Dr. Julia Magnusson, he meets up with three old friends: Solly Rubens, a self-made Wall Street millionaire; Ken Faust, a successful software entrepreneur; and Harlan Astor, New York real estate tycoon and the glue that holds their circle together.
That afternoon, over drinks at the Harvard Club, Harlan drops his bombshell: He is doing what James Cameron did not -- he is rebuilding the Titanic, and sailing the ship on the hundredth anniversary to honor those who died, including his great-grandfather, John Jacob Astor IV. Only Trevor is intrigued by Harlan's audacity. Touched by his friend's interest and concern, Harlan invites him on the maiden voyage to serve as the official chronicler.
On April 10, 2012, Trevor journeys to Southampton and, along with the hundreds of handpicked passengers, boards the Titanic. He is awed by the immensity of the ship and the feelings that well up in him. His friend has made his grand dream a reality.
During the journey, armed with his iPod Touch and a miniature wireless camera hidden in his glasses, Trevor interviews both passengers and crew, eager to learn the reasons why they chose to sail on the reborn ship.
Nearly every one of them claims to have been profoundly affected by Cameron's film, wanting to recapture the magic for themselves. And some of them are dying -- their last wish to be on the maiden voyage of the new Titanic.
Trevor is touched that his friend has allowed these people to come aboard, and is unprepared when he meets Madeleine Regehr, a beautiful, free-spirited woman who resists his entreaties to be interviewed, intriguing Trevor all the more. Slowly, and inexorably, Maddy draws him out of his shell, allowing him to love deeply and completely, for the very first time in his life.
But Trevor soon discovers a darker purpose for the voyage, a purpose that threatens to destroy him and the woman he loves. In a race against time that pits friend against friend, Trevor must stop the unstoppable or risk a horrific replay of history...
My Take: What a breathtaking ride! Bill Walker has given us tale worthy of the original Titanic story as well as the epic movie by James Cameron to which many references are made and many comparisons may be found. I picked this up in the afternoon on April 9 and finished by afternoon on April 10--and if there hadn't been a need for sleep and a morning's worth of work I would have read straight through and finished sooner. An incredibly readable and unputdownable book. The characters are lively and credible and I instantly become involved with their stories. I wanted to know why every single one of the passengers had come on board--not just the ones whose stories are shared. As Maddy says after she has read the initial chapters of Trevor's book:
I kept wanting it to go on. When I reached the last page, and it wouldn't scroll any further, I actually got angry with you.
Well, I didn't get angry....but I was sad to have the book end. I wanted more. That is definitely a sign of a good author. And Walker has done what few authors have done with me--moved me to tears in the final chapters. A lovely tribute to the Titanic tragedy and a potent and poignant story of its own, Titanic 2012 will definitely stay with me for a long time to come. Five stars.
In 1990, Bill relocated to Los Angeles, and began a freelance story analysis career for various studios and independent production companies, while devoting his spare time to the writing of novels, short stories, and screenplays. He is also a highly-respected graphic designer, specializing in book and dust jacket design. He has worked on books by such luminaries as: Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. In addition, Bill is a member of the Authors Guild.
He has won awards for his screenwriting, his two short story collections for Mid-Graders, Five-Minute Frights and Five-Minute Chillers, are perennial Halloween favorites, and his first novel, Titanic 2012 was enthusiastically received by readers. His second novel, Camp Stalag was released in 2001. Bill lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Debbie, and their sons, Jeffrey and Brian.