Review: The Stowaway

The Stowaway

The Stowaway
By James S. Murray & Darren Wearmouth
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250263650, September 2021, 320pp.

The Short of It:

Gruesome, but oddly entertaining.

The Rest of It:

Two years ago, Maria Fontana, the head of the Psychology Department at Columbia University, sat on a jury for one of the most depraved cases ever to pass through the hallowed halls of City Hall. ~ Indiebound

The set-up is very good. Maria’s role on that jury comes back to haunt her and her family as they are vacationing on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean. Maria and her fiancé are trying to put the events of the past behind them while getting a little R&R with Maria’s young children in tow. But things suddenly take a dangerous turn on the ship when people turn up dead. People, mostly, young children. How can this be? Could the man on trial, Wyatt Butler have a copycat?

Maria spent a lot of time reviewing the evidence of that case. All the gruesome photos of Butler’s young victims. Plus, her background in Psychology gives her enough info to know how these serial killers work, but could there really be a copycat on board? Why? What is he after?

This book is a classic example of being trapped with no place to run. It’s a ship but there are only so many places to hide and Maria’s knowledge of the case and what this killer is capable of keeps the story flowing at a breakneck pace. I really enjoyed this one. I read it in one sitting and could not put it down for long.


It’s gruesome. The crime scenes are very graphic. It seemed somewhat tolerable only because the killings are not in real time. As readers, we only hear of the aftermath but it’s children, which is a bit hard to swallow. Many of you warned me about how graphic it was but it was done well-enough that it didn’t keep me from frantically turning those pages.

If you need something a little different, something that is hard to put down and you don’t mind the graphic nature of these killings, then I highly recommend it.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

12 thoughts on “Review: The Stowaway”

  1. Great review. It does feel funny saying that we enjoyed this one considering the victims were children. It was so different – definitely not for all readers but good! The audio narrated by Barrie Krenik was awesome!

    1. I’m glad you said the audio was good. Another reader said she was picking up the audio so I hope she enjoys it too. It was so darn hard to put down.

    1. I think the authors could have lightened up the gore a little, for sure. Especially since it had to do with kids but as disturbing as it was, I still liked the book. That says a lot. Maybe I need counseling.

  2. This sounds good except for what happens to the children. It’s a pass for me.

    My 7 yr. old grandson Harley is an expert on cruise ships. A few years ago when my daughter, Harley, and I went on a cruise one of the questions at a show was “what is the next ship to be launched on it’s maiden voyage”. No one in the audience but Harley knew the answer. He won a bottle of wine, which he gave to me 🙂 I don’t even drink but I still have that bottle of wine in the fridge.

    1. I can’t believe Harley knew that!! That is quite amazing, actually.

      Yeah, the kid thing in The Stowaway was so strange because you don’t hear of that too often in thrillers. Most authors steer clear of children. Not these two.

  3. This one sounds good even though it’s gruesome. I could always skim bits if it gets to be too detailed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s