The WW II adventures of Commodore John Mason Kemp that began in Convoy South (1988) continue with a nightmare passage from Malta to Ceylon. There are lovely female naval volunteers aboard Orlando, a passenger liner doing duty as a troop ship, but it will be no pleasure cruise for convoy leader Kemp. The Lords of the Admiralty have ordered Kemp and his fleet of supply ships to head for Alexandra and Port Said. But the hundreds of army troops who expect to disembark in Egypt to tangle with Rommel's Afrika Korps are to participate in a hoax. They're to hide from German spies by staying below decks and continuing with the ship through Suez to Ceylon. Keeping his opinion of Admiralty planning to himself, Kemp shepherds his collection of ships safely past the German air bases on Crete to arrive in the middle of an Egyptian cholera plague. Vaccinations for the troops won't be possible--the vaccine is sitting on a dock back in Britain. As the hidden troops bake and broil in the ship's airless compartments, the ship starts through the Suez Canal and the cholera starts through the troops. It's not, however, Kemp's only plague. He's forced to accommodate Gen. Pumphrey-Hatton, the idiot in charge of the army troops, a man who thinks Kemp could do a better job controlling the flies that contaminate his gin. Meanwhile, at the end of the Suez lie a killer typhoon and a German cruiser bristling with very accurate, very large guns. . . McCutchan at his grimmest. For serious sailors only.