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Über dieses Produkt
The dazzling new novel in the bestselling NUMA Files series from the grand master of adventure.
- AutorClive Cussler,Graham Brown
- VerlagPenguin LCC US
- Seiten432 Seiten
- Gewicht715 g
M.V. Torino, seventy miles west of Malta
The M.V. Torino was a three hundred foot steel hulled freighter built in 1973. With her advancing age, small size and slow speed, she was nothing more than a 'coaster' now, traveling short routes across the Mediterranean, hitting various small islands on a circuit that took in Libya, Sicily, Malta and Greece.
In the hour before dawn, she was sailing west, seventy miles from her last port of call in Malta and heading for the small Italian controlled island of Lampedusa.
Despite the early hour, several men crowded the bridge. Each of them nervous and with good reason. For the past hour an unmarked vessel running without lights had been shadowing them.
"Are they still closing on us?"
The question came as a shout from the ship's master, Constantine Bracko, a stocky man with pile-driver arms, salt and pepper hair and stubble on his face like coarse sandpaper.
With his hand on the wheel he waited for an answer. "Well?"
"The ship is still there," the first mate shouted. "Matching our turn. And still gaining."
"Shut off all our lights," Bracko ordered. Another crewman closed a series of master switches and the Torino went dark. With the ship blacked out, Bracko changed course yet again.
"This won't do us much good if they have radar or night vision goggles," the first mate said.
"It'll buy us some time," Bracko replied.
"Maybe it's the customs service?" another crewman asked. "Or the Italian coast guard?"
Bracko shook his head. "We should be so lucky."
The first mate knew what that meant. "Mafia?"
Bracko nodded. "We should have paid. We're smuggling in their waters. They want their cut."
Thinking he could slip by in the dark of night, Bracko had taken a chance. His roll of the dice had come out badly. "Break out the weapons," he said. "We have to fight."
"But Constantine..." the first mate asked. "That will go badly with what we're carrying."
The Torino's deck was loaded with shipping containers, but hidden in most of them were pressurized tanks as large as city busses and filled with liquefied propane. They were smuggling other things as well, including twenty barrels of some mysterious substance brought on board by a customer out of Egypt, but because of the rampant fuel taxes throughout Europe, it was the propane that brought the big money.
"Even smugglers have taxes to pay," Bracko muttered to himself. Between protection money, transit money and docking fees, the criminal syndicates were as bad as the governments. "Now we'll pay double. Money and cargo. Maybe even triple, if they want to make an example of us."
The first mate nodded
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