The mechanics of the ship, art of navigation, and nuances of naval warfare, all clearly and convincingly described, will fascinate even landlubbers. Just as artfully spun is the wisdom offered by a rabbi Rogers is smuggling, his teachings and advice illuminating not only to his family but to Rogers and the crew as well. The dynamic between the rabbi and Rogers culminates in an intriguing, oddly sophisticated balance. Meanwhile, a U-boat captained by the notorious Viktor Brauer—so fearsome that Rogers at first insists he’s an invention of British propaganda—is in pursuit, with Miller doing memorable work, in point-of-view chapters, depicting this antagonist and a crew suffering from the restless “tin can disease” caused by extended confinement.
Miller deftly introduces the mates on the Peggy C, sharing intriguing facts about their backgrounds and painting a clear picture of each man’s appearance and demeanor, with each character’s purpose evolving over the course of the tale. The overlapping lives, not only physically close, and their daring mission elevate this winning high seas adventure.
Takeaway: This superior maritime thriller finds an American captain smuggling Jewish refugees as Nazis prowl.
Great for fans of: Nicholas Monsarrat’s The Cruel Sea, Alistair MacLean’s HMS Ulysses.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A