I first heard about the Boston molasses flood of 1919 on an episode of Mysteries at the Museum, and I found it to be a captivating piece of history. Since then it has been one of my goals to learn more about this deadly disaster, but not much has been written about it. Then I found Dark Tide, and eagerly began to read.
Dark Tide is a pretty amazing piece of research. I learned a ton about the molasses flood, about its causes, about its victims, about the court case that came out of this disaster. The thing is, though, the story of the actual disaster isn't that meaty. Interesting, yes, meaty, no. It can basically be explained and summed up in a few sentences, and well described in something about the length of a college essay.
To make this story into a book, though, the author included a lot about the way the world was at the time of this disaster and at the time of the court case that this disaster lead to. That information did all tie together with the story of the molasses flood, and it did put this disaster squarely into context. It also made the first quarter(?) half(?) of the book drag, and I couldn't help but think that some of the fat could have been trimmed off. Once the tank holding the molasses blew, however, things all came together, and I have to admit that I was pretty well riveted by the book.