It is September 1939—the eve of WWII. England is caught in the throes of war with Nazi Gemany. In Southhampton, the legendary Pan Am Clipper, the worlds most luxurious airliner, is ready for its flight to neutral America. The passengers include both the cream of society and the dregs of humanity. But they cannot the flee the danger that awaits them in the air—a storm of violence and intrigue that will ensure them a memorable journey! Once again, Ken Follett delivers a thrilling ride from the opening page to the shattering climax.
From Kircus Reviews:
With the Dark Ages (The Pillars of the Earth, 1989) out of his system, Ken Follett returns to the spies, sex, and Nazis that did so well for him in Eye of the Needle. Fascinated by the huge flying boats launched by Pan Am in the late 1930's to fly the north Atlantic route, Follett has cooked up a sort of Airship of Fools or Flying Grand Hotel about a Clipper load of rich folks and lowlifes fleeing England after the declaration of war. The passengers include a fascist marquess and his family—so much like the Mitfords as to include a Nazi daughter and her socialist sister; a cuckolded industrialist chasing his pretty wife; an aging movie star; a Jewish refugee physicist; a suspected mafioso; a rich, powerful, but unloved American widow; the widow's weak, treacherous brother; and the handsome young jewel-thief without whom no such epic is complete. The danger that hangs over all these worthies is sabotage of the flight plan by an otherwise trustworthy flight engineer whose wife is being held captive in Maine by nameless rotten scoundrels. The merciless kidnappers want the plane set down early in order to remove a nameless someone before it reaches New York. Since the plane flies rather slowly and since there are three refueling stops, and since the beds make up into comfortable little berths, there is plenty of time for the passengers to search for the marchioness's priceless rubies, counterplot against the bad guys, stretch the legs in Irish pubs, quarrel, have reconciliations and indulge in a fair amount of good, healthy sex. No technothrills. No psychodrama. No fine writing. Hours of good storytelling. (Book-of-the-Month Split Main Selection for November)—Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ken Follett is the author of fourteen bestselling books, including The Man from St. Petersburg, Lie Down with Lions, and Night Over Water. Among his most recent works are A Place Called Freedom and The Hammer of Eden. He lives in London, England.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Passenger Deck Plan
Atlantic Route Map
Part 1: England
Part 2: Southhampton to Foynes
Part 3: Foynes to Mid-Atlantic
Part 4: Mid-Atlantic to Botwood
Part 5: Botwood to Shediac
Part 6: Shediac to the Bay of Fundy