This judas-ship--both in the sense of a judas-jinx and a judas-goat decoy--sails along on the top decibels of typically...

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THE JUDAS SHIP

This judas-ship--both in the sense of a judas-jinx and a judas-goat decoy--sails along on the top decibels of typically Callisonian bioodyminded frustration. It's 1941, and the Mava Star is a British freighter 200 miles off Brazil when she's attacked by a disguised German raider. After all, someone has seen fit to arm the freighter with one heavy gun on the foredeck, making it--technically--a warship. The Star returns fire, and a lucky hit drives off the big raider, but the Star is ablaze in several holds, three of which are full of 200 tons of live munitions. Then begins a variation on the Conrad classic Youth: a long voyage with a fire down below, only this time with the ship ready to blow sky-high. But the 15 surviving crewmen contain the fire ingeniously and hole up on an Amazon tributary--only to find the enemy raider already there and repairing its own damages. The raider, of course, is deadset on sinking the Star, so the raging freighter skipper comes up with a bright scheme to sink the Germans, even though the Germans have British hostages aboard. . . . Callison's tightest show since A Ship Is Dying, a whizzer meant for one fast read before sizzling and sinking beyond the horizon.

Pub Date: July 1, 1978

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1978