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England, 1940. Clare Childs knew life would change when she unexpectedly inherited the Maggie Bright—a noble fifty-two-foot yacht. In fact, she’s counting on it. But the boat harbors secrets. When a stranger arrives, searching for documents hidden onboard, Clare is pulled into a Scotland Yard investigation that could shed light on Hitler’s darkest schemes and prompt America to action.
Across the Channel, Hitler’s Blitzkrieg has the entire British army in retreat with little hope for rescue at the shallow beaches of Dunkirk. With time running out, Churchill recruits civilian watercraft to help. Hitler is attacking from land, air, and sea, and any boat that goes might not return. Yet Clare knows Maggie Bright must answer the call—piloted by an American who has refused to join the war effort until now and a detective with a very personal motive for exposing the truth.
The fate of the war hinges on this rescue. While two men join the desperate fight, a nation prays for a miracle.
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Read an Excerpt
The Maggie Bright
A Novel of Dunkirk
By Tracy Groot, Kathryn S. Olson
Tyndale House PublishersCopyright © 2015 Tracy Groot
All rights reserved.
SOMEWHERE IN BELGIUM
There is nothing more disturbing than the sound of an animal in pain. Animals can be put out of their misery, but men, men cannot.
"What in me is dark, illumine! What is low, raise and support!"
"Will someone please shut him up?" shouted the British officer.
Artillery shook the hut. Bits of dried earth rained down on the officer's map. He flicked away a single lump. The British Army was in retreat. Had England ever met such a rout as this? How would they face those at home — if they made it home?
The man in the corner howled. When he didn't shout strange things, he howled, and not just any old howl; it came up in an eerie building groan and let loose at a peak, put the hair straight up one's neck.
At the peak of the latest unholy howl, a figure appeared in the doorway, hesitant, uncertain — just the person.
"You there!" said the officer. "Yes, you. See the man over there? He's yours."
The private looked at the bandaged man. "What do you mean, sir?"
"Get him to Dunkirk. He's done something heroic."
"I only came to tell you —"
"Yes, yes, we're overrun!" A boom shook the hut. "Bronson!" he shouted over the private's head. "Get over that canal and tell McIntire's unit to pull out. God, have mercy!" He stared at the private. "Still here?"
"But, sir —"
"Let me be clear: You are no longer part of any unit. You've been plucked from your lovely little fraternity, you now have an independent commission, and he is yours. Move!" Then, bellowing, "Bronson!"
Private Jamie Elliott went to the bandaged man making the horrible sound. A medic finished the last of his dressing, and looked at Elliott with some sympathy.
"All yours, mate. At least he can walk."
"What's wrong with him?" said Elliott.
"Shell went off, right by his head. When he's not howling, he quotes Shakespeare."
"Milton, actually," said another medic, bandaging another man.
"Who cares? It's poetry, and it's awful."
"I think it's rather interesting. I like to listen to him."
"That's because you're a pansy, aren't you?" said the first medic. He looked at Jamie and shook his head. Then he looked at his charge, who had quieted at last, and said, gentler, "He's a captain. Lost all his men, poor sod. Risked his life to bring a message to another unit, saved their lives, came back to his own and they were blown to bits. Last one died ten minutes ago. A brigadier put him in for the Victoria Cross."
A boom, and earth rained down.
"Their fatal hands no second stroke intend!" shouted the bandaged captain.
"Well, that was relevant." The medic grabbed the captain's rucksack and stuffed in rolled bandages. "Change it as often as you can; keep it clean as you can. It's a great rotten hole, but I have no time to stitch it. Keep the bandage tight. He's lost a lot of blood. He'll need water as often as you can scrounge it." He thrust the rucksack at Elliott. "Go."
The ground shuddered, earth rained, and Elliott grabbed the captain's arm.
"Which way to Dunkirk?"
"That way, mate, twenty miles or so. You can't miss it — it's burning."
Excerpted from The Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot, Kathryn S. Olson. Copyright © 2015 Tracy Groot. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
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