It's 1943, World War II is well under way, and Ensign Peter Maxwell is enjoying easy days in San Diego as base choir director and warm nights with his new bride, Kay. But there's a war out there waiting to be fought, and Pete wants to be part of it.
When a request comes up for officers on an ammo ship (prophetically named after Pete's Iowa hometown, Liberty Hill), newly promoted Lieutenant Maxwell and the rest of his vocal quartet, the Fantail Four, volunteer. The duty they pull is dangerous even for wartime: the young officers find themselves in charge of a ship of largely untrained African American sailors who hail from big-city ghettoes, Dixie farms, and all ports in between.
As the racially tense Liberty Hill Victory pulls into San Francisco's Port Chicago, the crew witnesses a horrific explosion that paints the sky red. In the wake of a mutiny by the port's surviving black sailors, protesting unsafe conditions, the Liberty Hill must step in to load ammo. This difficult task is made nearly impossible for the Fantail Four by a racist captain who would love to see the "colored" crew and his "college boy" officers fail. But when Lieutenant Maxwell finds an ally in seaman "Sarge" Washington, a former cop from the Black Belt of Chicago, the deadly job gets done, if not without incident. . . .
They then sail into two violent storms—a literal typhoon that could put them on the ocean's floor if their cargo doesn't blow them to hell and gone first, and a figurative one when a white officer is found brutally murdered in Shaft Alley, the very bottom of the ship where the drive shaft turns the propeller. And in the midst of a vast ocean and a wider war, a farm boy from Iowa and a tough cop from the ghetto must combine forces to stop a vengeful murderer who threatens to ignite their floating powder keg.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
A World War's being fought in 1943, and Lieutenant Peter Maxwell wants in on it. But his assignment to the Liberty Hill Victory is not what he had in mind. An ammo ship commanded by racist officers and crewed by largely untrained and inexperienced African American sailors, it is a volatile floating powder keg in more ways than one.
In the wake of a deadly explosion and subsequent mutiny in San Francisco's Port Chicago, the Liberty Hill Victory puts out to sea—as Maxwell and his new ally, former Chicago "Black Belt" cop seaman "Sarge" Washington, struggle to keep the ship afloat in treacherous waters. Because if a typhoon doesn't sink them or their cargo doesn't blow them straight to hell, a looming, more human threat just might—as a brutalized corpse discovered at the ship's bottom hammers home a terrible truth: they are thousands of miles from anywhere with a murderer onboard.
Patrick Culhane is the pseudonym of acclaimed author Max Allan Collins, who has been dubbed "Mystery's Renaissance Man." His New York Times bestsellers include his graphic novel Road to Perdition, basis of the Academy Award-winning film, and the movie novels Saving Private Ryan and American Gangster.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description William Morrow, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1St Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060892552
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800608925551.0
Book Description William Morrow & Co., Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 2008. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition, First Printing. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. This is a new hardcover, first edition, first printing copy in a new mylar protected DJ, black spine. Bookseller Inventory # 039280