CONVOY HOMEWARD by Philip McCutchan


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The immensely prolific and thoroughly reliable McCutchan continues his WW II convoy saga with a sixth adventure for Commodore Kemp (Convoy of Fear, etc.). John Mason Kemp is the senior captain of a steamship line who, in peacetime, commanded UK-to-Australia cruises; but now he's been made a convoy commodore, the officer in charge of non-naval ships bringing troops and supplies to a besieged Great Britain. Sailing in his former command Aurelian Star, Kemp's present charge is to sail from Ceylon with supplies and then to pick up native troops, German POWs, and a handful of colonial refugees from an East African port, all for delivery in Liverpool. As usual, there'll he pecks of Nazi U-boats in both the Indian and Atlantic oceans, but on this trip there'll also be the threat of a German heavy cruiser. Kemp's naval escorts will protect the convoy as best they can, but they won't be able to make the whole trip. Kemp will have to pray for the timely arrival of a battleship from home once he gets to the dangers of the North Atlantic. In addition to the German navy, the commodore is plagued by worries about his sailor sons and by the half-mad Brigadier Pumphrey-Hatton, who gave him so much trouble in the last Convoy novel. Among the passengers on this trip are a frail, retired army couple, a civilian lush, and a woman who is no better than she should he. Below decks, Petty Officer Ramm worries about his wife and sweetheart running into each other back home; Petty Officer Chatfield stews about his young wife and the anonymous letters he's been getting; and Seaman Biggar worries that Brigadier Pumphrey-Hatton will recognize him as his accidental assailant on a boozy liberty. As always, McCutchan runs a tight ship.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1992
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: St. Martin's