Convoy of Fear

Philip McCutchan, Author
Philip McCutchan, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (190p) ISBN 978-0-312-05065-8
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
The military-series genre hasn't a finer craftsman than McCutchan (the Halfhyde and Cameron books). The fifth in the Commodore Kemp series ( Convoy East ) demonstrates his usual firm grasp of both shipboard life and a large cast of characters whose daily routines mix with occasional graphic moments of war horrors. Kemp, before WW II a skipper of ocean liners, has brought most of his convoy into Malta. Now flying his flag from the troopship Orlando , Kemp shepherds his flock through the Suez Canal toward Ceylon. The convoy soon contends with an outbreak of cholera, a German sea raider and a typhoon--plus a nasty popinjay of an Army general and the uxorious Kemp's attraction to a Wren officer. Whether discussing seamanship, inter-Service wrangling, or the immediate and back-home worries of his characters, McCutcheon has his details bang-on. A chief engineer with symptoms of cholera exhibits a stiff upper lip: ``Well, the cholera would have to wait, that was all.'' Readers of earlier Commodore Kemp titles may become addicted given this sterling addition. (Dec.)
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