The Bridge of Deaths is a novel of historical fiction, mystery, and detailed investigation, seasoned with the surreality of past lives, mystics, and one woman’s quest for the truth. M.C.V. Egan’s debut novel welcomes readers into an ongoing investigation that began in 1939 when a British Airways Ltd. flight went down under questionable circumstances near a bridge called Storstromsbroen.
The plane’s precious cargo is muddied with intrigues, conspiracy, and perhaps some international espionage, that will have the reader pouring over documents and facts like an eager child over a treasure map. There was a survivor, and his recollections are one woman’s destiny—if only she can get to them in time.
When Bill’s sensible days and haunted nights become more than his therapist can handle he turns away from the “sensible, reasonable, credible, traditional, levelheaded, common sense, and rational options,” and instead turns to “the possibility of the unreasonable, incredible, irrational, implausible, and illogical.” A character so easy to identify with that he’s our neighbor, our friend, and at the same time a protagonist who we gladly accompany to the end.
Egan’s prose is crisp and clean without any superfluous brush strokes added to the canvass she brings to life. At times the investigation detail becomes more academic than fiction, but the depth is necessary to empathize with the past. The cold finality of seeing a telegram of death from 1939 brings readers into the tragedy of a family’s loss better than any words could have.
Before long we realize that pages are running short and answers few. What we’re left with is whether we believe in past-life regression or not. Either way, we turn the last page with the comforting conviction that for at least one person, Catalina, closure is at hand.