Tangier, 1941 -- for Eric DeHaan, Captain of the Dutch tramp freighter Noordendam, life at sea has always been his great, but not his only, love affair. Recruited by Dutch Naval Intelligence while in the port of Tangier, DeHaan steers his ship, disguised as a neutral Spanish freighter, through a series of secret missions for British Naval ...
Tangier, 1941 -- for Eric DeHaan, Captain of the Dutch tramp freighter Noordendam, life at sea has always been his great, but not his only, love affair. Recruited by Dutch Naval Intelligence while in the port of Tangier, DeHaan steers his ship, disguised as a neutral Spanish freighter, through a series of secret missions for British Naval interests, which include taking British commandos on raids against a German observation station in French Tunisia; floating in emergency convoys; transporting bombs from Alexandria to the beleaguered British forces in Crete; and installing a listening post on the southern coast of Sweden, across from German bases on the Baltic Slowly, the Noordendam becomes a ship of fugitives -- a former lieutenant in the Polish navy, a Greek stowaway from Crete, a Jewish refugee medical student recruited as ship's doctor, and Maria Bromen, a Russian maritime journalist -- all on the run and trapped on the seas until the war ends. Secret operations, romance, battles in port alleys and at sea, DARK VOYAGE takes us with nail-biting suspense through the spy-saturated world of 1941. Magnificent historical espionage complete with a fighting hero -- a good-hearted man battling against an evil world.
Dark Voyage is a departure from Furst's usual genera of story. It is a nautical tale that relates the nerve-wracking and perilous chronicale of a minor merchant ship caught up in the periphery of WWII which sucks the ship into a frightful world the ship and her crew are only marginally prepared to endure. The essential role that the merchant fleets of the belligerent nations played in the war is well documented; and the savagery of the war at sea that was inflicted on the merchant ships of the world is well known. The intimate aspects of its effects on one ship and her crew are told with an insight that transports the reader to deck of the ship and alternately washes the reader with cold seas, stinging salt spray and the fright of being powerless in the grip of events and the attacks of a ruthless aggressive enemy.
Publishers Weekly, 2004-07-19 It's no secret by now that Furst is a superlative chronicler of World War II, and his new novel is a splendid addition to an accomplished body of work that includes The Polish Officer and the bestselling Blood of Victory. His mastery of the atmosphere of that era-its brusque heroes and heroines, its sudden explosions of violence, its strange black glamour-is the fruit of tireless research and an empathetic imagination. His hero this time around is a blunt Dutch sea captain, E.M. DeHaan, whose sturdy but aging merchant vessel is pressed into service on behalf of the British Navy by the exiled Dutch naval intelligence group in London. Disguising his boat as a neutral Spanish freighter, DeHaan somberly and grudgingly takes it several times into harm's way, ferrying British commandos on a North African raid, taking munitions to the beleaguered British garrison on Crete and then, most dangerous of all, on a secret mission to Sweden's Baltic coast. The marine details are so authentic the reader can smell the oil and the brine, and the characters who come aboard and into the captain's life-a valuable Polish naval officer in exile, a Jewish refugee who becomes the ship's doctor, a Russian woman journalist fleeing the Soviets, with whom DeHaan enjoys a brief and dry-eyed romance-are sketched with concise brilliance. The book casts such a spell with its exact evocations of time, place and language that one could swear Furst was a Brit writing out of his own experience in 1941 rather than an American writing today. Agent, Amanda Urban. (Aug. 10) Forecast: Furst has been rapidly developing both his skills and his reputation as a master of that still-alluring world, and this is arguably his finest performance to date, likely to confirm old admirers and win many new ones. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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