Get personalized recommendations and earn points toward a free book!
Check Out
The Bestselling Books of All Time
See the List
In the Waves by Rachel Lance

In the Waves

Best Seller
In the Waves by Rachel Lance
Hardcover
Apr 07, 2020 | ISBN 9781524744151
See All Formats (2) +
  • Hardcover $28.00

    Apr 07, 2020 | ISBN 9781524744151

  • Ebook $14.99

    Apr 07, 2020 | ISBN 9781524744168

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Product Details

Praise

In the Waves draws the reader deep into a layered mystery, rich with explosive experimentation, Civil War history, and the engaging personal narrative of a young scientist. As persuasive as she is passionate, Rachel Lance expertly unravels the tragedy of the Hunley, complete with its scientific and historical context. Yet Lance’s book reveals more than torpedo blasts and shock waves: it is an inspiring look at what is possible when devotion and science are joined.”
–Nathalia Holt, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us from Missiles to the Moon to Mars

In the Waves is a thrilling expedition into one of the great unsolved mysteries of the Civil War. Harnessing the revelatory wonders of the digital age and her own undersea expertise–along with gritty determination and persuasive powers–Rachel Lance has delivered a mesmerizing tale of science, history, tragedy and adventure!”
—Liza Mundy, author of Code Girls

“Ever since the Confederate submarine H L Hunley was brought up from the ocean floor in 2000 with the skeletons of its eight crewmen still at their posts inside the intact hull, conservators and historians have speculated about their fate.  Were they drowned by water pouring in from damage by the torpedo explosion that sank their target the USS Housatonic?  Were they asphyxiated by lack of oxygen and carbon dioxide poisoning?  Or did they die from some other cause?  In this enthralling account based on extensive research and testing, the US Navy blast-injury specialist Rachel Lance solves the mystery in convincing fashion and offers an important contribution to Civil War literature.”
James M. McPherson, Princeton University, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

“A page-turning tale of personal obsession to solve a great historical mystery frozen in time. Rachel Lance dives deep into an era during the Civil War when combatants took almost unimaginable risks, then uses a thrilling combination of creativity, ingenuity, and curiosity to answer questions long thought lost beneath the waves. A wonderful adventure told by that rarest of breeds – a scientist who writes beautifully and won’t relent until she knows.”
—Robert Kurson, New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers and Rocket Men

“Anyone who enjoys reading outstanding narrative nonfiction will absolutely love Rachel Lance’s In the Waves. Reading it is like watching Sherlock Holmes investigate a murder mystery—if “Sherlock” were a woman, had to solve the mystery while battling petty academic jealousies, and was an exquisite writer. The “crime” occurs during the Civil War, outside Charleston Harbor, inside the Hunley, the first submarine ever to blow a hole in an enemy ship, a blast that simultaneously left all eight submariners dead but in situ, fully intact, with no trauma and no signs of attempted escape. Why did the little submarine sit on the bottom undiscovered for nearly 150 years? And how did the submariners die? As Lance writes, “Something killed these men. Something that left no trace on the boat or the bones.” A “blast-trauma researcher,” Lance weaves the stories and unravels the science and medical hypotheses with engaging observations, venturing from Kurt Vonnegut and the allied bombing of Dresden to the iconic southern senator, Strom Thurmond. Anyone who can make science and senators not only interesting but also thrilling has a gift, and this storytelling “Sherlock” also packs a genuine sense of humor.”
—Gary Kinder, author of Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea
 
In The Waves—a perfect title for Rachel Lance’s captivating tale documenting her obsession with solving the Civil War mystery about a tiny Confederate submarine that successfully blasted apart a Union ship in the Charleston harbor and then disappeared without a trace for 131 years. With determination and  a knack for story-telling, Dr. Lance recreates the daring mission of the HL Hunley and her demise, using precision-based, bio-medical expertise to solve the mystery of how her eight-man crew died.”
—Ann Blackman, author of Wild Rose, Civil War Spy
 
“When we brought the Hunley up in 2000, we were shattered with exhaustion and had put everything we had into prying the Hunley from the mud of Charleston Harbor, but the recovery team assumed that the scientists and researchers who came after us would bring the same passion to the science and the story of Hunley as we had. We were not wrong. Dr. Lance brings a razor sharp mind and an equally sharp wit to the greatest remaining mystery of the Civil War—how and why did Hunley sink? Her rigorous and highly accessible science, leavened with more than a few lovingly described characters and wry observations of graduate student life makes In The Waves a compelling explanation and a rollicking good read!”
—David L. Conlin Ph.D., Hunley Recovery Team Field Director, Chief Archeologist , National Park Service

“They were the first crew of a submarine to sink an enemy ship, but did they ever have a hope of coming home? To find out, Rachel Lance brings together an unlikely mix of old style weaponry, modern science and people who love to make things go bang. This is her determined search to uncover the truth about an impossible mission. It is a great read!”
—Sherry Sontag, co-author of Blind Man’s Bluff

Back to Top