Evans, Alan. Wraparound dust jacket art by Mike Trim.
Title SHIP OF FORCE.
Publisher Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1979, first edition.
Seller ID 22816
255 pp, 8vo (8 3/4" H), hard cover in dust jacket. ISBN 0340234334 " 'Schwerttrager!' It is the summer of 1917, Britain is losing the war against the U-boats and Commander David Cochrane Smith listens to the delirious mumbling of a dying U-baot c ommander: 'Swordbearer'. Smith believes it is the code name for an operation, a threat to Britain, but nobody will listen to him. The threat haunts him. He meets a wild, beautiful, tragic girl and she solves a tiny part of the mystery, en o u g h t o set a clock ticking, counting down. Smith has come home with a bloody victory to his credit but he is still under suspicion of being reckless, a wild man, at best just lucky. He believes the answer to the U-boat lies in convoys but h e is g iv e n a f lotilla 'to take offensive action against U-boats and bases'. The flotilla turns out to be one ancient destroyer, a turtle-back 'thirty-knotter' known as 'Bloody Mary'. It is backed up by a 'ship of force', but that is no more t ha n a mo nit or , ne ar -new and with fifteen-inch guns. Her engines are defective, she is slow and spends more time in the dockyard than at sea. The flotilla is a sick joke; the two ships are the lepers of the Dover Patrol. With them Smith has to take on shor e b at ter ies and bigger, faster enemy destroyers. He has to fight the hostility of his commanding officer and is plunged into the world of espionage behind the enemy lines. Through it all the mystery behind 'Schwerttrager' lure s h im on unt il he sta kes his car eer and his life in a desperate attempt to solve it." Faint cigarette odor. Dust jacket has been price-clipped, has minor edge wear/wrinkling, minor browning at edges. Very Good+/Very Good