The Last Boat is the second novel by John Hanley, and the follow up to Against the Tide
The book opens in the middle of the greatest naval disaster in British history when the Luftwaffe bombs and sinks the hastily converted Cunard liner, HMT Lancastria. In the ten minutes of bombing and strafing, over 5,000 troops and civilians are blown apart by the high explosive bombs. These losses represent more than one third of all members of the British Expeditionary Force killed in the nine months of war so far. The news is so shocking that Churchill suppresses it and the report into the loss will remain sealed until 2040.
But this is only a beginning for Jack, Saul, Miko and Lt Commander Brewster who survive the attack and must fight their way back to Jersey through the German advance. During this journey they encounter a cargo so important that only Miko, the refugee physicist, really understands what could happen should the Germans intercept it.
The Last Boat will appeal to readers of historical fiction who appreciate the complexities and uncertainties facing young adults as their world is forever shattered by war.
Praise for Against the Tide, John Hanley's first novel.