Sunday, March 11, 2012
Five Passengers from Lisbon: Review
World War II in Europe has just come to an end. Five desperate people want to leave Europe as soon as possible--they don't mind buying their passage on a Portuguese cargo ship. They just want to get out. But they don't expect the ship to sink. Or to be set adrift on the ocean in a lifeboat with three crew members. Or to be rescued by an American Red Cross ship--only to find that one of the crew members has been murdered.
The rescue ship's captain has his work cut out for him. There doesn't seem to be any way to prove who took advantage of the storm-tossed sea to do away with the third officer of the Portuguese ship. And there doesn't seem to be any motive. Before the story is over there will be two more murders and two murderous attempts and more than one secret will be revealed. And, of course, with the story having been written in 1946 there are Nazis involved. But can you, the reader, discover the culprit before all is revealed?
Mignon Eberhart's short crime novel is characteristically full of suspense with a little bit of romance thrown in. There are plenty of clues and red herrings--and I changed my mind several times before the end. And, no, I didn't guess correctly. A good, solid three star story.
*One of three short novels in a 3-in-1 Detective Book Club edition.