A German submarine is mysteriously invaded by paranormal forces.
In the early days of the second world war, German U-boat commander Siegfried Lorenz dreams of Paris as he patrols the North Sea near Iceland. Garbled messages instruct him to meet an old cargo ship stranded nearby and pick up two prisoners: a British submarine captain, Lawrence Sutherland, and a Norwegian academic, Bjørnar Grimstad. Sutherland is killed when he pulls a gun on a German crew member, and frail old Dr. Grimstad is found dead on a bunk, shot in the heart. A weird ocean disturbance that threatens the ship is followed by the discovery of a dozen men in a lifeboat in great physical distress, gaunt and nearly bald and lacking eyebrows. Engagement in a naval skirmish prevents an immediate follow-up with these apparent refugees. Later, Lorenz and his crew find themselves unsettled both by the eerie demeanor of these ghostlike figures and by a series of strange events that befall their ship. The chief electrician inexplicably goes overboard and dies; weird shadows appear on the horizon. Reaching the coast of Brittany is a relief to all, and after an interview with the Admiralty about his adventure, Lorenz gets his Paris furlough, complete with a romantic fling. But when he returns to the command of U-330, Lorenz and his crew find that even more horror awaits them.
Elegant prose stylist Tallis (The Voices, 2014, etc.) evokes both the eerie loneliness of life aboard a submarine and the pernicious creep of paranormal forces.