Apparently, this is the first book Nevil Shute wrote. In his introduction, he mentions that he had to write it through three times. It seems pretty similar to vintage Shute, which means that it's a GoodRead
, well worth one's time. It has many elements one finds in later Shute books, airplanes, small sailing vessels in the English Channel, and romance that progresses as two people slowly develop a friendship while they are working together to address a problem. It's at once calming and deeply engaging.
In this book, we have an airplane pilot who is a bit wild outside his flying, but quite competent within the flying. He has a crash because his plane was turned around too quickly, and the engine blew out on him. An escaped convict from Dartmoor saves his life. As a consequence, he becomes involved in saving the convict. It seems that the convict has an Italian half brother who is smuggling drugs into England, and the convict has escaped to try to stop the smuggling. After all, in England one doesn't do such things
as smuggle drugs. The escaped con also has a female cousin who isn't all that much of a looker, but who is a competent, independent young woman. So naturally, while the pilot works to save the convict, by helping to bring the half brother to justice, he also falls for the cousin, because, after all, looks become ever so much more enchanting once wit and intelligence have had their chance to beguile the senses.
This is really a fun story. Perhaps not my favorite of Shute's works, but I've yet to find a dog among them. Why didn't I discover Nevil Shute earlier?