The Queen of the North
A Spy Novel
It is June 1940. The Finns have won the Winter War against the Soviet Union, and earned the right to the Petsamo region, contested during the five-month war and ceded to the Finns in the Moscow Peace Treaty of March 21. Petsamo is a crucial artery in the war, for two particular reasons: it gives access to a neutral harbor in the Arctic Ocean, and it contains Finland’s largest nickel mine.
Refugees are fleeing North along the Arctic Highway to Liinahamari, an otherwise sleepy harbor town in the Petsamo region. Liinahamari is the world’s only ice-free harbor above the Arctic Circle. With ports closed to the left and the right of Finland, and throughout Europe, it is also the only way of escape. Among the refugees are the Crown Princess of Norway and her three children.
The German Reich, meanwhile, is quietly moving to occupy Finland on the same terms that it has already dictated over Norway. With Sweden remaining neutral, as it would throughout the war, Scandinavia’s iron ore has begun to travel South. The Petsamo mine at Kolosjoki is a considerable prize: nickel deposits at the Kolosjoki Mine would end up providing as much as 40% of the nickel used in weapons manufacture by the Nazis during the Second World War.
A ship is waiting for the refugees, arranged for by personal order of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who has developed a fondness for the Crown Princess that will last until his death. The ship is also waiting for an item of significant interest to the U.S. Navy. Smuggled from a Swedish armament works by an unlikely group of Anglos, Swedes, and Poles, an object is to be concealed in its hold that could very well change the course of the war in the Atlantic...