“The novel that launched the astonishing career of one of the 20th century’s greatest writers of action and suspense.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Royal Navy cruiser, HMS Ulysses, leads a convoy of destroyers, carriers and merchant ships deep into the Arctic Circle, heading for Murmansk with vital supplies for a beleaguered Russian Army. Waiting for them is a U-boat wolf pack and some of the worst winter weather of the war. Their orders are to get through at any cost but no-one can predict just how high that cost will turn out to be.
Alistair MacLean’s debut novel is arguably also his best and it ranks easily alongside Monsarratt’s “The Cruel Sea” as an exemplary account of the Allied Convoy War. Taking his inspiration from his own extensive experience as an RN sailor in the Atlantic and Arctic convoys there is a strong feeling of verisimilitude to this story; but the sheer quality of his writing is also worthy of note.