book cover of Flight to the Sea

Flight to the Sea

A novel by

The year is 1937 and the Second Sino-Japanese War has begun!

The invading Japanese have broken through the Great Wall of China and all those in the port town of Penyang, North of Shanghai, are trying their best to get out.

The only remaining ship in the harbour, however, is the ageing rust bucket, the Orient Queen, A British ship, captained by George Wright and his second in command, Edward Crane.

It's compliment of passengers is a mismatch of class and background, from Madame and her young mistresses to an American Missionary and his pious wife.

On the morning that the ship is set to sail, the beginning of a series of disasters strikes as Japanese bombers rain hellfire down upon the town.

On his way to the ship, John Cooper is caught in the middle when the bombs start falling. He is confronted with the harsh realities of war; a sight that he cannot easily forget.

When the delayed Cooper finally makes it through the carnage to the boat, it becomes clear they're missing their pilot! How much longer must they wait?

Tensions rise within the boat itself as the missionary couple clash with the brothel girls, who the couple deem to have no place on the ship with them and in insult to their beliefs.

From being run aground in low tide, to be being strafed by strafed by low-flying fighters, there is no end to the problems plaguing the voyage of the Orient Queen.

It is only when the boat is boarded by soldiers who appear be Chinese irregulars, that things take an interesting and surprisingly positive turn.

The soldiers, who are looking for food and satisfaction, force the crew to allow them to take, among other things, the cargo under the guise of lightening the heavy ship's load.

Those on the Orient Queen must choose their moment wisely.

This tense and thrilling piece of historical fiction takes place during an often forgotten, early and brutal part of the Second World War.

Praise for John Pattinson

'Moves swiftly through coincidence and suspense, action and violence to a wholly unexpected denouement.' - British Book News

'A crisp storyline and credible characters make it a cracker of a tale' - Bolton Evening News

'A Grim and exciting tale' - Sheffield Star

'There is the tang of the sea and plenty of excitement' - Birmingham Mail

'Bears the stamp of authenticity that has so effectively flavoured previous seafaring yarns by this author.' - Nottingham Evening Post

James Pattinson (1915-2009) was a full-time author who, despite having travelled throughout the world, lived in the remote village where he grew up. He wrote magazine articles, short stories and radio features as well as numerous novels including Crane and The Silent Voyage.

Genre: Mystery

Used availability for James Pattinson's Flight to the Sea

Hardback Editions

April 1983 : UK Hardback

Title: Flight to the Sea
Author(s): James Pattinson
ISBN: 0-7091-8655-X / 978-0-7091-8655-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

Paperback Editions

November 1999 : UK Paperback

Title: Flight to the Sea (Linford Mystery)
Author(s): James Pattinson
ISBN: 0-7089-5602-5 / 978-0-7089-5602-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Linford (Large Print)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

December 1985 : UK Audio Cassette

Title: Flight to the Sea: Unabridged
Author(s): James Pattinson
ISBN: 1-85496-176-4 / 978-1-85496-176-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Soundings Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

February 2017 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Flight to the Sea
Author(s): James Pattinson
Publisher: Lume Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA