San Andreas (novel)

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San Andreas
Alistair Maclean – San Andreas.jpg
First edition (UK)
Author Alistair MacLean
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Publisher Collins (UK)
Doubleday (US)
Publication date
Media type Hardcover Print
Pages 306 pp.
ISBN 0-385-23152-0
OCLC 11784511
823/.914 19
LC Class PR6063.A248 S2 1985
Preceded by Floodgate
Followed by Santorini

San Andreas is a novel by Scottish author Alistair MacLean, first published in 1984. One of his final novels, it returns to MacLean's original (and most successful) genre: war at sea.

Plot introduction[edit]

The British Merchant Navy hospital ship San Andreas is en route from Murmansk to Halifax, Nova Scotia during World War II. It is forced to change its destination to Aberdeen, Scotland. It belonged to the Liberty Ship class design with large red crosses painted on the sides of its hull, San Andreas should have immunity from attack from all sides in the war and be granted safe passage. The first sign of trouble occurs when the ship's lights mysteriously fail just before a pre-dawn bombing attack that severely damages its superstructure and sinks its escort frigate. With most of the senior officers dead and the captain incapacitated, Bosun Archie McKinnon must take charge of the damaged ship and steer her to safety despite German aircraft, U-boats, stormy Arctic weather and sabotage by an unknown traitor on board. He must also discover the reason for the frantic and repeated German attempts to sink the San Andreas.


A Sikh crew-member of the San Andreas claims initially to be "from Pakistan" but is revealed later to be an anti-Imperialist from India. The nation of Pakistan did not exist until 1947, two years after World War II (the timeframe for the novel) ended, although the name "Pakistan" was used to describe the Northwestern area of British India from the mid-1930s onward.

External links[edit]