Simon Fonthill, his wife Alice and trusty '352' Jenkins are bound from the Chinese port of Tientsin for Durban, South Africa at the urgent request of Kitchener. The rusty tub that is to take them across the sea does not inspire confidence and, more worryingly, neither does the captain. When matters come to a head, all three must pull together to ensure that their plans and lives aren't wrecked.
According to author John Wilcox, an inability to do sums and a nascent talent to string words together steered him towards journalism - that and the desire to wear a trench coat, belted with a knot, just like Bogart. After a number of years working as a journalist, he was lured into industry. In the mid-nineties he sold his company in order to devote himself to his first love, writing. He has now published, to high acclaim, nine Simon Fonthill novels and two works of non-fiction, including an autobiography.