The author of the dashing Halfhyde Edwardian naval adventure series returns to WW II and Commodore John Mason Kemp of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves-who must see a troop convoy safely from Australia to the US. Commodore Kemp's pleasure in returning to his one-time civilian ports of call in Australia are blighted by political complications and by bad family news. Even as the Japanese stand poised to invade Australia from their newly won southern possessions, the English demand the assistance of Australian troops in the European war. The Australians comply, and Kemp takes charge of the troop convoy--but he also takes with him to America a secret message detailing the resultant weakening of Aussie home defenses. Further weighing on Kemp is the report that one of his sons is presumed dead in naval action in the Mediterranean. The convoy steams westward and is almost immediately beset by a German raider. Has there been a leak of the ships' plans? Kemp's crew believes that one of their own number, a hapless gunner's mate, must have blabbed in bed to a sheila owned by the Axis forces, and the poor fellow finds dead rats in his bunk. The convoy makes it to South Africa, but the crossing to Virginia leads straight into U-boat ambush--and a Nazi plan to take Commodore Kemp and his flagship back with them to the fatherland. Thoroughly competent WW II naval action adventure.