By Alan Furst
Random House Trade, Paperback, 9780812967968, 304pp.
Publication Date: May 31, 2005
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 Malmo.
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 cafes 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.
"From the Hardcover edition.
Praise for Blood of Victory
“[Furst] glides gracefully into an urbane pre—World War II Europe and describes that milieu with superb precision.”
–JANET MASLIN, The New York Times
“Densely atmospheric and genuinely romantic, the novel is most reminiscent of the Hollywood films of the forties, when moral choices were rendered not in black-and-white but in smoky shades of gray.”
–The New Yorker
“Furst’s achievement is a moral one, producing a powerful testament to fiction’s ability to re-create the experience of others, and why it is so deeply important to do so.”
–NEIL GORDON, The New York Times Book Review
“Richly atmospheric and satisfying.”
–DEIRDRE DONAHUE, USA Today