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Sixth of the Donald Cameron novels to be published here but the second chronologically, finding him a newly minted sublieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. In 1940, Cameron boards the destroyer Wharfedale at heavily bombed and starving Malta as the first port in his dangerous Mediterranean duty. The ship is sent to Crete, which is an evacuation point for large British forces after the fall of Greece. Cameron's job, however, is not to evacuate but to accompany a landing party intent on rescuing Stephanos Razakis, an invaluable Greek Communist leader, and his daughter, who are being held captive by a platoon of Hun paratroops. Meanwhile, a terrific German onslaught against Crete begins and the Wharfedale is struck (not fatally) while the landing party is ashore. Cameron's men fight to Razakis but the sick man won't leave his daughter, who has been inoculated with tetanus by the Nazis and is writhing in her final agonies. So, she is shot to death by a fellow Greek, and Razakis leaves. Then Razakis reveals that he has evidence proving that Hitler is about to turn on Stalin and invade Russia. Churchill and Stalin must be warned. But even though Cameron gets Razakis back safely to the ship, he soon finds himself sent ashore on still another mission: to bring back a German officer who can verify Razakis' story. Young Cameron has charm. His story gathers a bouncy vitality and an amazing sense of the naval activity confined in the Mediterranean, although too often he crams in more nostalgic wartime detail than readers on either side of the Atlantic may have much feeling for.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1986
Publisher: St. Martin's