Alistair Stuart MacLean ( 1922-1987). A Scottish novelist of largely adventure stories. Born in Glasgow he was the son of a Church of Scotland Minister. Many of his stories use world war two navy knowledge; MacLean having served during WW2 in the British navy. Hi service took him into the Atlantic, Artic, Mediterranean, Far East and off Norway, Burma, Malaya and Sumatra. After the war he studied English at the university of Glascow and worked as a school teacher.
San Andreas, may be one of Alistair Maclean’s lesser known novels, but it is equally as good as his best. This is a well written novel using the author’s knowledge of boats, the Second World War and weather. While other books by Maclean like: The Guns of Navarone and HMS Ulysses, may be seen as an instant draw-card to the reader who likes an adventure- thriller, a plot based on the plight of a hospital ship in hostile waters might not be perceived to have the same appeal. Such a subject matter might be considered as being as shaky as the San Andreas fault-line as far as marketing is concerned, for a hospital ship during the Second World War was neutral and somewhat boring as it carried no weapons. Yet this was no ordinary hospital ship and as time has shown was never likely to founder with Maclean at the helm.