We had the joy of reading another Alan Furst book: Dark Voyage. The Dutch tramp freighter Noordendam goes back and forth from being itself and the Spanish Santa Rosa in the run up to the German invasion of the Soviet Union while its captain, Eric DeHaan deals with the Dutch, British, German, Soviets, and others.
Dark Voyage has the tight details of the ship, the vision of the ports (Alexandria, Tangiers, and Lisbon), with the background of a world at war. And, of course, Furst is telling you all this in book nor. Here is an example:
“Nobody can see the future,” Dehaan said, “But promises are sometimes kept, even by governments.”
There are interesting souls in Dark Voyage. It doesn’t tie into an of the other Furst books so you can start with it.