Depth of Deception by Alexander GalantIndie Books Thursday, July 12th, 2012
Depth of Deception opens in the year 1982, when a beautiful young woman, dressed in Edwardian clothing, is found floating unconscious in the North Atlantic. Stuck between the pages of the book she clutches is a 1912 boarding pass to the RMS Titanic.
In England, Callum Toughill, an insurance investigator, is assigned the case of a missing brooch that was stolen during a horrific, unsolved murder in 1909 Glasgow. He is chosen because his own grandfather botched the original investigation. Despite the painful family memory and likelihood that all evidence will be long gone, Callum dives in. As he begins to uncover the tangled truth that the missing brooch may have ended up on the ill-fated RMS Titanic, someone is one step ahead, trying to stop him.
Miraculously, the mysterious young woman, nicknamed ‘Myra’ because of the inscription on her locket, survives and awakes in a Manhattan hospital with no memory of her identity. Myra’s vague recollections are from the gilded age of 1912 and she is lost in the alien, harsh world of 1982. A respected and wealthy Titanic survivor named Edward Hoffman attempts to expose her as a fake, but the plan backfires and stirs up more details in Myra’s memory, which include the fact that Edward may be her son. Is this a bizarre case of time-travel or an elaborate hoax?
Depth of Deception is an historical-thriller inspired by a 1990 tabloid headline:“Titanic Survivor Found on Iceberg”, with incorporated elements of a true unsolved murder from turn-of-the-century Glasgow.
Back in 1990, I was standing in line at the checkout of a supermarket. In the pre-digital age, I had no device to check my emails while waiting and had no choice but to stare at the wall of tabloid magazines vying for attention. On this particular day, one cover caught my eye. The headline read:
TITANIC SURVIVOR FOUND ON ICEBERG
Trawler Picks Up Young Woman Dressed In 1900s Clothes!
She Thinks It’s April 15, 1912 – And Her Dress Is Still Wet!
Despite the absurdity, the headline intrigued me. I was familiar with the Titanic, having studied the ill-fated ship in great detail out of interest alone. I thought the idea would make for a great film premise, so I wrote the headline down in a spiral bound notepad, but I couldn’t figure out why a person would come forward in time. How could that be believable?
I recalled reading stories of similar cases in the Bermuda Triangle, but the Titanic sank nowhere near there, and I needed plausibility in order to get the audience to suspend their disbelief in time travel. So I put the headline in a file folder and locked the idea away.
Sixteen years later, I took part in the International 3-Day Novel Contest. While looking for story ideas, I found the headline in my files and suddenly had my answer. At this point in my life I had a one-year old daughter. Having a child changes one’s perspective. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my daughter to protect her. I would sacrifice my life and if it were possible, I would bend the laws of time and physics for her. From that, the plot for my story began to evolve, and moreover, I had my ending.
One of my quirks is that I can’t write the first chapter of a story without writing the end chapter first. Especially with a mystery, I need to know how it ends before I begin. Once I start, and the story forms itself in my head, I must get it out onto the computer as quickly as I can. I’m driven by the story while it’s hot, and when inspiration for the next chapter hits, my typing fingers often don’t move quickly enough. I wish it were possible to download the story directly from my brain.
About the Author
Alexander Galant was the historical researcher for the novel Dracula the Un-Dead, which was on the New York Times Best Sellers list in October 2009. Alexander also co-wrote the screenplay adaptation that was optioned briefly by Jan de Bont and adapted the novel into a dramatic stage reading for the Toronto book launch of Dracula the Un-Dead, which brought out the highest turnout for any event on the book tour.
Alexander has also written and directed several short films including “The Jigsaw Puzzle”, which won the Festival Buzz Award (most talked-about film) in the New York Independent Film Festival; “First Light”, Winner Bronze Remi Award for Fantasy Horror at the WorldFest Houston, USA, Special Commendation Award at the Festival of Fantastic Films, UK, and Best Technical Achievement from the International Festival of Cinema and Technology; “The Missing Piece”, Winner Silver Remi Award for Suspense Thriller at the WorldFest Houston, USA; and co-wrote and directed “Star Wars: Blasted Behavior”, a finalist in the Atom Films/LucasFilm Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge (George Lucas was one of the judges), which also won the Best Foreign Sci-Fi Film Award at the New York International Film Festival and continues to make the festival circuit this year.
Alexander’s love of historical details can also be seen in some of the stage productions he has directed, such as the silent film era of “Singin’ in the Rain” (Act-Co Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement in Live Theatre), a 50-year span in “Love Letters” and the World War II Amsterdam annex for “The Diary of Anne Frank”.
“This is one of the books you have to read for 2012. I more than enjoyed it. I couldn’t stop reading it and completed it in one day. Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot done. You have to check this book out. It was wonderful, and if I say anything else I’ll ruin it.” ~ Rebecca Graff, A Book Lover’s Library
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