A Liquid War
Trafford Publishing, 28 okt. 2004
A Canadian naval story set in the North Atlantic It is June, 1942. In the prologue, Lieutenant Craig Colville. RCNVR, and a few seamen, survivors from torpedoing, are afloat in a whaler. Their first night in a foggy sea segues into a flashback. It is now December, 1941. The story unfolds through Craig's eyes. He is drafted to a corvette on the run between St. John's and Londonderry. One of the officers aboard is Larry Delamere, an attractive, amusing man who lives his life with a kind of valedictory zest. Charasmatic as he is, Larry is seriously flawed. Different pressures, conflict with the captain being one, cause him to find release in booze and women. Following a monumental drinking party ashore, a girl named Marigold is accidently drowned. Larry, unjustifiably, holds himself accountable. Later in the story he takes his own life. Most of the action, however, takes place at sea. Paradoxically, some of Larry's less talented shipmates are headed for advancement. First Lieutenant Burdin, a plodder, is slated for command. Gunnery officer Tremain knows instinctively how to handle the Captain and gain promotion. Mannicks, the comic villian, is a lawyer and politician who undermines Larry and, by fluke, shares in the glory of sinking a U-boat: a glory that would have been Larry's had he not missed his ship. Craig, Larry's best friend, ends up falling in love with Larry's fiancée, Darcy Surtees. A later chapter has for its setting a country place called Wynworth, thirty miles from Halifax. While highly relevant to the plot development, it provides a romatic interlude. Epilogue: Finally, the fog lifts and the whaler party are sighted by a naval escort. Craig not only experiences immense relief, but delight at the prospect of seeing Darcy again. --
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