Fans of nautical novels may enjoy this highly technical WWII novel from first-time author Mannock, who takes the unusual approach of casting the crew of a German U-boat as the book's protagonists. Framed by a prologue and an epilogue set in the present, the story begins when a Nazi U-boat assigned to harass Allied shipping comes under attack by U.S. aircraft during a clandestine refueling near Cuba. Crippled, the U-boat heads for the Louisiana bayou, where a clan of greedy Cajun trappers will provide whatever the crew members need-for a price. While the crew repairs their submarine, officer Erich Bock meets and falls in love with Jolene, a young Cajun woman who's about to come of age. Papa Luc, the controlling clan leader and Jolene's prospective husband, emerges as the villain and is one of the few stereotyped characters in the book. Indeed, Mannock has made a concerted effort to break stereotypes here, particularly the stereotype that German officers were all cold, autocratic supporters of Hitler. Although Mannock pads his prose with mundane details, readers will appreciate this book's unusual perspective and true-to-life characters.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW
One of the most underrated authors today. This guy is good, and this book will hold you right up to the end.