The last time I read a military and political thriller involving a submarine it was a thriller about a sub named Red October ! But this time the sub is named USS Kentucky and, like the Red October she too, is a ballistic missile submarine. But instead of defecting to the other side, the Kentucky is infiltrated and sabotaged by agents of the Mossad through both human and technological means to receive the order to launch not just one or two but all of it’s 24 nuclear missiles into Iran who is just a short time away from possessing a nuclear weapon. The result is a true thriller that has more twists and turns in its plot than did Hunt for Red October which I consider to be the gold standard of military thrillers.
As the Kentucky’s CO Brad Malone and its crew struggles with their mission, elements of the US government and military, led by Christine O’Connor, the current National Security Adviser, seek to find a way to either communicate with or destroy the Kentucky. As she does, she encounters both deception and espionage in people that she works closely with and the result is an unfolding realization of not just why but who is behind the situation.
As the novel unfolds Campbell, who has a background in submarines, really tightens and twists the story in some great ways and I was truly reading faster and faster as the highly climatic ending approached. His familiarity with military tactics, procedures, and policies as well as a very good knowledge US military doctrine adds a tremendous amount of detail and depth to the plot and the characters in the story.
I really enjoyed this book for both its realism, plot, and characters. Campbell drew me in the first pages.
I rate this book as a ‘magnificent’ read!
Note: I received an advanced reader copy of this book via the Amazon Vine review program in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.