A first novel which traces with firm realism and noncommital emotion the transatlantic run of the freighter Branten, and follows a familiar frame in the line-up of officers and crew. There's is the First Mate who drinks to excess and to escape a world he doesn't like; Johnny, new to this life, unsure of himself; Red who is incorruptible and Slim who is out for himself, etc. etc. Disaster is inevitable when they hit the 20th meridian, and the Branten is next attacked by U-Boats, then heads into a gale and ships water after one of her hatches has been left unsecured. One man is washed overboard, Red- injured- dies, and Johnny at the close gains the courage to confront Slim for his guilt in the lives which have been lost... Good enough, in this genre, but not enough to stand comparison with the Monsarrat- The Cruel Sea- which appears earlier in the month.