kasten_rick_bk_tlvotpq kasten_rick_bk_ss
Full Name: Rick Kasten
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation Other - Ship Owner

Creator: John M. Bushby
Time Span: 2011 - 2014


Rick Kasten is a ship's owner.

Not too many from that profession get involved in the espionage game; it is horribly bad for business. Kasten would not have done so himself except for his immense dislike of the Nazi regime and their treatment of the Jews. Which is why in the two-book series we have of this man's adventures we follow him first doing what he can to save who he can and then later taking his involvement in the "spy game" a huge leap forward.

When first we meed Kasten, he is in Havana, Cuba, quite a ways from the new war just about to erupt in Europe in 1939. Kasten is described as "single, reasonably fit, and tanned from days in the sun. Although on the short side of forty, he was starting to show some gray at the temples."

I started to call Kasten the captain because of his control of his vessel's operations but that is incorrect. He is really the ship captain's boss, the CEO of Guarana Steamship Lines, a successful shipping enterprise in the North-South America trading world. Grandson of the founder and trained from a young boyhood to eventually take the reins, he became the chief negotiator and business wrangler for the firm after the passing of the older gentleman.

One of the fairly lucrative business deals that Kasten got for his company was the transatlantic run to a German company delivering fruit, coffee, and tobacco from Cuba. The return trips, though, were how his presence in this collection came about because he would, operating mostly in a legitimate manner, haul in his now empty vessel back to the Americas refugees who were "willing to pay for passage and the Reich's price to exit".

It sounds straight-forward and simple. It does not stay that way.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2011
Last Appearance:2014

1 Shadow Soldiers Shadow Soldiers
Written by John M. Bushby
Copyright: 2011

The year is 1939 and ship captain Rick Kasten has begun a perilous endeavor using his ship to help people escape the clutches of the Nazis. Working with those in the newly formed OSS, Kasten must find a way to get one especially sought after passenger out of Germany and to America.
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2 The Last Voyage of the Paramaribo Queen The Last Voyage of the Paramaribo Queen
Written by John M. Bushby
Copyright: 2014

In the hot months of 1941, the U.S. has not yet been officially drawn into war. Rick Kasten, still hurting from the loss of his love and wanting revenge, agrees to find out what the German Admiral Doenitz is planning in his next wave of warfare on the Atlantic. This means heading into the heart of the Nazi regime.
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Those were bleak times, the late 30s and early 40s, with everyone either at war or preparing to be and no one trusting anyone else. The author does a pretty impressive job showing that feeling. I especially enjoyed the fact that the adventures were told from a non-spy/non-military point of view. I mean, Kasten is not a spy, he is a businessman but he gets involved in spy stuff and manages to survive and to even get the job done. What comes across so well is the determination that Kasten has, especially in the second adventure.


My Grade: B


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