Naugatuck author Joan Lownds will offer insights on her book Man Overboard: Inside the Honeymoon Cruise Murder, Thursday, December 1 at 7 p.m., in the Cole Auditorium. Lownds was a newspaper reporter six years ago when Greenwich native George Smith, IV disappeared on his honeymoon cruise. George Smith married Jennifer Hagel in June 2005. Eight days after their wedding, George vanished from their Royal Caribbean cruise with blood stains tracing an awning below their cabin. Despite an open FBI investigation, the disappearance remains unsolved.
Through exhaustive reporting and research, Lownds has written a non-fiction book that reads like a mystery novel. Man Overboard provides an extraordinary look into a case that has raised provocative questions about the unregulated cruise industry, leading directly to the passage of the historic Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act.
Congressman Jim Himes called Man Overboard compelling and said, "Lownds's vivid storytelling gives the reader a deck-side view of the controversy surrounding the tragic death of George Smith and his family's advocacy in his honor." Joan Lownds is an award-winning writer and investigative reporter for several Connecticut newspapers including The Greenwich Post and the Greenwich Citizen, and has been covering this story since it broke. Her writing appears in several Connecticut newspapers and magazine such as the Newtown Bee, New Haven Advocate, Yale Alumni Magazine and New England magazine. Part of the AuthorsLive@GreenwichLibrary series, the program is free and open to all. AuthorsLive@GreenwichLibrary is made possible through the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees and contributions by generous donors. Books will be available for sale and signing through Diane's Books. Doors open at 6:30 pm. For more information, please call Marianne Weill at (203) 622-7933.