“In the first nineteen months of European war, from September 1939 to March of 1941, the island nation of Britain and her allies lost, to U-boat, air, and sea attack, to mines and maritime disaster, one thousand five hundred and ninety-six merchant vessels. It was the job of the Intelligence Division of the Royal Navy to stop it, and so, on the last day of April 1941 . . .”
May 1941. At four in the morning, a rust-streaked tramp freighter steams up the Tagus River to dock at the port of Lisbon. She is the Santa Rosa , she flies the flag of neutral Spain and is in Lisbon to load cork oak, tinned sardines, and drums of cooking oil bound for the Baltic port of Malmö.
But she is not the Santa Rosa . She is the Noordendam , a Dutch freighter. Under the command of Captain Eric DeHaan, she sails for the Intelligence Division of the British Royal Navy, and she will load detection equipment for a clandestine operation on the Swedish coast–a secret mission, a dark voyage.
A desperate voyage . One more battle in the spy wars that rage through the back alleys of the ports, from elegant hotels to abandoned piers, in lonely desert outposts, and in the souks and cafés of North Africa. A battle for survival, as the merchant ships die at sea and Britain–the last opposition to Nazi German–slowly begins to starve.
A voyage of flight , a voyage of fugitives–for every soul aboard the Noordendam . The Polish engineer, the Greek stowaway, the Jewish medical officer, the British spy, the Spaniards who fought Franco, the Germans who fought Hitler, the Dutch crew itself. There is no place for them in occupied France; they cannot go home.
From Alan Furst–whom The New York Times calls America’s preeminent spy novelist–here is an epic tale of war and espionage, of spies and fugitives, of love in secret hotel rooms, of courage in the face of impossible odds. Dark Voyage is taut with suspense and pounding with battle scenes; it is authentic, powerful, and brilliant.
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|Title of eBook: Dark Voyage|
|Release Date: 08-03-2004|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Dark Voyage|
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UNDER SPANISH FLAG
In the port of Tangier, on the last day of April, 1941, the fall of the Mediterranean evening was, as always, subtle and slow. Broken cloud, the color of dark fire in the last of the sunset, drifted over the hills above the port, and streetlamps lit the quay that lined the waterfront. A white city, and steep; alleys, souks, and cafes, their patrons gathering for love and business as the light faded away. Out in the harbor, a Spanish destroyer, the Almirante Cruz, stood at anchor among the merchant steamers, hulls streaked with rust, angular deck cranes hard silhouettes in the dusk.
On board the tramp freighter Noordendam, of the Netherlands Hyperion Line, the radio room was like an oven and the Egyptian radio officer, known as Mr. Ali, wore only a sleeveless undershirt and baggy silk underdrawers. He sat tilted back in his swivel chair, smoking a cigarette in an ivory holder and reading a slim, filthy novel in beautifully marbled covers. From time to time, he would remove his gold spectacles and wipe his face with a cloth, but he hardly noticed. He was used to the heat, the effect of a full day's sun on the ship's steel plate, and, come to that, used to these ports, hellholes always, Aden or Batavia, Shanghai or Tangier, and he was much absorbed in the noisy pleasures of the people in his novel. On the wireless telegraph before him, a gray wall of switches and dials, the ether crackled with static, his duty watch had less than an hour to run, and he was at peace with the world.
Then, from the static, a signal. On the BAMS frequency-Broadcasting for Allied Merchant Ships-and, he thought, far out at sea. He set the book face