In 1941, E. M. DeHaan, the captain of the Noordendam, a Dutch tramp freighter, is recruited by the Dutch Naval Intelligence Section for a series of dangerous secret missions against the Germans that take the ship and its crew behind enemy lines in Europe and North Africa, disguised as a neutral Spanish freighter that becomes a haven for fugitives. Reissue.
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A new historical espionage thriller by Alan Furst is always cause for celebration, and in his eighth novel, the talented writer who's made a particular time and place his own--Europe on the eve of World War II--takes his fortunate readers aboard the tramp ship Noordendam. Its captain, E.M. DeHaan, is recruited by Dutch Naval Intelligence to smuggle arms and spies past the watchful eyes of the German Navy. Like most of Furst's protagonists, DeHaan is at first a reluctant hero, certain that disguising the Noordendam as a Spanish freighter flying the flag of a neutral nation that won't attract the attention of the Nazi authorities will never work. The plot takes DeHaan, his crew and a handful of passengers that include a refugee family, a beautiful woman, and a mysterious Russian through the dangerous waters of the Mediterranean, the North Sea, and the Baltic. Putting DeHaan ashore in the exotic port cities affords Furst an opportunity to evoke the sights, smells and atmosphere of Alexandria's waterfront alleys, Lisbon's intrigue-filled cafes, and Tangier's shadowy souks, which he does with consummate skill. Maintaining a measured but never lagging pace, Furst takes the Noordendam on its final dangerous voyage past the Baltic Fleet in a tour de force by a writer who's inherited the mantle of Eric Ambler and Graham Greene and wears it as if it had been custom tailored for him. --Jane AdamsFrom the Inside Flap:
"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 Malmo.
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 coast-a 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 cafes of North Africa. A battle for survival, as the merchant ships die at sea and Britain-the last opposition to Nazi German-slowly begins to starve.
"A voyage of flight, a voyage of fugitives-for 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 Furst-whom "The New York Times calls America'spreeminent spy novelist-here 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.
"From the Hardcover edition.
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Book Description Simon & Schuster Audio, 2007. Audio CD. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0743561104