"In the first nineteen months of European war, from September 1939 to March of 1941, the island nation of Britain and her allies lost, to U-boat, air, and sea attack, to mines and maritime disaster, one thousand five hundred and ninety-six merchant vessels. It was the job of the Intelligence Division of the Royal Navy to stop it, and so, on the last day of April 1941 . . ."
May 1941. At four in the morning, a rust-streaked tramp freighter steams up the Tagus River to dock at the port of Lisbon. She is the Santa Rosa, she flies the flag of neutral Spain and is in Lisbon to load cork oak, tinned sardines, and drums of cooking oil bound for the Baltic port of Malmö.
But she is not the Santa Rosa. She is the Noordendam, a Dutch freighter. Under the command of Captain Eric DeHaan, she sails for the Intelligence Division of the British Royal Navy, and she will load detection equipment for a clandestine operation on the Swedish coasta secret mission, a dark voyage.
A desperate voyage. One more battle in the spy wars that rage through the back alleys of the ports, from elegant hotels to abandoned piers, in lonely desert outposts, and in the souks and cafés of North Africa. A battle for survival, as the merchant ships die at sea and Britainthe last opposition to Nazi Germanslowly begins to starve.
A voyage of flight, a voyage of fugitivesfor every soul aboard the Noordendam. The Polish engineer, the Greek stowaway, the Jewish medical officer, the British spy, the Spaniards who fought Franco, the Germans who fought Hitler, the Dutch crew itself. There is no place for them in occupied France; they cannot go home.
From Alan Furstwhom The New York Times calls America's preeminent spy novelisthere is an epic tale of war and espionage, of spies and fugitives, of love in secret hotel rooms, of courage in the face of impossible odds. Dark Voyage is taut with suspense and pounding with battle scenes; it is authentic, powerful, and brilliant.
Jonathan Yardley - The Washington Post
[Furst is] a serious writer, and his novels remind us that these days a great deal of exceptionally good American writing is being done in what the literati dismiss as popular fiction.
Janet Maslin - The New York Times
The Baltic action of Dark Voyage is so stunningly precise, intricate and dangerous (Dear God, let there be fog, DeHaan thinks) that the book's map of the region becomes essential reading. Skagerrak, Smygehuk, Liepaja, Falsterbo, Kronstadt these are the kinds of places that take on critical importance.
Library Journal - Barbara Conaty
With profound understanding of the historic panorama, Furst subtly evokes the emotional and mental highs that resided at that time, even within the most ordinary and anonymous of citizens. Fans will not be disappointed by this spare but never terse adventure tale.
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.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Frank Alan Furst's Books I've read them all... you FEEL you are there, not just reading about it. Can't get enough.
I do admire the
WWII generation. In general they seem to be made of sterner
stuff than generations since. This was brought home once again
last summer when we were in England to celebrate my father's 80th
birthday. On the day of the party guests, most considerably
older than him, arrived from far and wide, beetling along the narrow
country roads in their cars. It was tipping down with rain and
they had to park in a field next to the house. My finely tuned
suburban instincts at the ready, I waited outside with an umbrella
with the intention of offering a 'valet' parking service so people
wouldn't have to walk down the slippery slope from the field.
No one wanted my help. So I resorted to standing by the slope
ready to offer a helping hand to anybody who needed it. No one
did. At last I spotted a likely mark getting out of a car - an...
Oldest romance writer in the world dies aged 105. Books #124 and #125 to be published next year(Dec 10 2013) Ida Pollock, author of more than 120 books, and believed to be the world's oldest romantic novelist, has died at the age of 105.