Erik Larsen has great talent in setting the scene, recreating a historic atmosphere long past. His books make history not only accessible to readers but tangible, bringing in details and perspectives previously unexplored. In Dead Wake he is in top form, recounting the story of the Lusitania’s final voyage in May of 1915. Alternating chapters cross the Atlantic, depicting both the political tensions in Europe during WWI and the lives of passengers and crew in the days leading up to disaster. In Dead Wake Larsen masterfully builds to the terrible but inevitable conclusion, and though most know the story’s ending, readers will be drawn in nonetheless. This book is mandatory for history and military buffs.
–Jennifer Oleinik, University Bookstore, Seattle, WA