THE LAST RAIDER by Douglas Reeman


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A superior adventure story describes a final gesture of defiance on Germany's part during World War I and very much resembles the true-life activities of the famous Count von Luckner. Captain Felix von Steiger, whose wife has just died, is ordered to take the raider Vulkan, break through the British blockade and attack Allied merchant ships. Since the Western front is collapsing and the war near its end, von Steiger and most of his men feel that this is a suicide mission which is exactly what it turns but to be. Although they are almost too successful, the crew becomes hostile and the Vulkan more hunted than hunter. The climax, in which the ship is finally sunk, is one of the grisliest accounts ever to bloody a page. Among the characters are Lt. Huess, on Steiger's conscience; the sadistic Lt. Kohler who commits murder or sodomy with equal passion; crew members; and a beautiful British typist for whom Lt. Huess falls like a schoolboy but who becomes the willing mistress of von Steiger.... An intense tale, with some cliches of shipboard intrigue while the Atlantic never seemed chillier.

Publisher: Putnam