September 05, 1977 12:00 PM

by Ernest Lehman

When 174 “passengers” aboard the luxury liner S.S. Marseille hijack it for a $35 million ransom, an odd team on both sides of the Atlantic—presidents, ham radio operators, a television executive, a team of California think tank scientists and their computer—works feverishly to save the vessel amidst shipboard murders, steamy love scenes and the captain’s nervous breakdown. Lehman’s lively first novel (he is best known for his Hollywood screenplays, North by Northwest, West Side Story and The Sound of Music) is smooth sailing for summer readers. (Atheneum, $10.95)

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