Time and Tide by Thomas Fleming
Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket: Very Good. 1987. Simon and Schuster. 1st Edition, 1st Printing.
The cruiser USS Jefferson City is a ship haunted, perhaps doomed, by a stain on her honor.
Her captain is torn between his love for two women, his loyalty to his best friend, and to the Navy to which he has devoted his life.
Time and Tide begins with the Jefferson City looming out of the dawn, fleeing a night of terror and death, the bodies of crewmen floating in water-filled compartments below decks. She has deserted her sister ships at the Battle of Savo Island - the worst naval defeat in U.S. history.
The Jefferson City's captain, Kansas-born Arthur McKay, has relieved his best friend and Annapolis roommate, Captain Winfield Scott Schley Kemble, and must decide whether to protect his friend's reputation against the Navy's determination to blame him for the Savo disaster or root out the truth.
McKay's tough-minded wife Rita wants him to destroy Kemble, a man she once loved and now loathes. But Rita's fragile, seemingly innocent sister Lucy is the secret commander of McKay's soul.
McKay's struggle anchors the lives and fate of the officers and men aboard the Jefferson City - from the corrupt Executive Officer Daniel Boone Parker to the doubt-tormented Chaplain Emerson Bushnell to Jack Peterson, the arrogant fire controlman, compelled by his sailor's code to be unfaithful to every woman who loves him.
Through these stories and many more, we follow the war: We are aboard the Jefferson City as she steams into the terrifying night battles off Guadalcanal, with Japanese shells thundering out of the darkness. From the Solomon Islands to the Bering Sea to the kamikaze-ridden skies of Okinawa, the Jefferson City provides a prism through which the Navy's Pacific war is brilliantly reflected as her captain and crew search for the meaning of such words as shipmate, honor, faith.
Time and Tide is a passionate love story, a compelling war story, an epic of Americans on the cutting edge of history.