Book Review: “Dead in the Water: A True Story of Hijacking, Murder, and a Global Maritime Conspiracy”

Dead in the Water by Matthew Campbell & Kit Chellel was published in May 2022.

The title more or less encapsulates the theme of this best-selling 2022 book. In addition, Bloomberg Reporters Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel’s well-researched story informs the reader about the world of global shipping and insuring. The work of Lloyd’s of London is explained in detail as is the industry that transports goods across oceans.

Lots of names are mentioned in this book, and except for characters with English names and Aristotle Onassis and Stavros Niarchos (who really aren’t an important part of this story), I found the cast of characters a bit difficult to keep straight, Many of the names were Greek with lots of syllables. Many of the cities other than Athens and London were personally unfamiliar to me as well.

Nonetheless, I kept reading (on my Amazon Kindle.) The book has been called “a triumph of investigating journalism.” Every evening I would excitedly tell my gentleman friend what I had learned from the book. I once had an older friend who was a poet and I remember her once writing, “Imagine me, at 80, ‘with book'”. That was me and this book. I was ‘with book’ and I was getting smarter about a business I had known nothing about.

The “detectives” in this story, Richard Veale and Michael Connor (names we could remember), were relentless:

“There was nothing else to say, and Veale and Conner were soon on a flight back to London. They were deeply frustrated. Theodorou had helped fill in some gaps in the story they were trying to piece together and provided a taste of evidence that could ae a real difference. But they were still a long way from knowing the full truth abut the Brillante or the murder of David Mockett – let alone being able to prove. it.”

Readers will love an unusual and true mystery and, perhaps, be somewhat disgusted at al the characters they will meet. In the end, did the good guys win? You’ll have to read the book to find out. I loved the time I spent with “Dead in the Water.”


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