The gift Forester has demonstrated in successive Hornblower yarns is here applied to a wholly new background for him- an Atlantic convoy, while the destroyer escorts were woefully lacking, and the wolf pack growing bolder. The central character, Captain Krause of the Keeling, has many of the qualifications of a Hornblower:- Navy bred, dedicated to the cause of duty, inflexible in discipline, winning devoted friends and no- apparent- enemies, lonely in his personal life with a certain tragedy of bereavement hanging over him, long years of service- and small rewards- and now his big chance,- his first vital command. The Keeling had as aid another destroyer and two corvettes- the four of them to guard a straggling line of 27 merchant ships. And the nights and days took toll- as the tiny escorts battled the marauders. There's an extraordinary achievement of suspense, despite the repeat pattern as the subs are sighted on the screen, their course guessed and plotted, the signals exchanged, the circling, sighting, losing, sighting, attacking, losing, and -- at long intervals-success, more often doubt, sometimes failure. But the overwhelming thing about it is the mounting tension of fatigue, hunger, thirst, need to get physical relief, and yet the constant, sustained sense of duty. A man's book- a naval man's book perhaps, but everyone will find it holding reading.