RogerBW's Blog

Cold Choices, Larry Bond and Chris Carlson 30 March 2014

Some time after the events of Dangerous Ground, Jerry Mitchell heads north again in USS Seawolf. Mild spoilers will follow.

Unlike Dangerous Ground, this time things start out well. Seawolf is a new and capable submarine, with a competent captain and (mostly) crew. But after an incident in the Barents Sea, things rapidly turn deadly; an attempt by the Russian submarine Severodvinsk to drive off Seawolf leaves Seawolf damaged, Severodvinsk stranded on the bottom with minimal power, and a rescue operation that immediately becomes political.

But this isn't a story of the Brave Americans and the Paranoid Russians, though by the nature of the genre that's the starting point. There are more sides to it than that: the tension on the American side between Navy, President, and State Department, on the Russian side between different commanders within the Navy and a group of wives and girlfriends of Severodvinsk's crew who get fed up with the anodyne official word they're given compared with what's on the news, and with a press which everyone wants to use to get their version of events out to the public. Everyone wants to come out looking good, and most of them don't really care whether the rescue succeeds except insofar as it helps that primary aim.

So while this is firstly a good technical book there is, as in Dangerous Waters, plenty of good character work too. Mostly we get this from the two submarines' captains, though Dangerous Waters' Dr Patterson returns as the Presidentially-anointed civilian director on scene of the operation to assist the Russian rescuers.

This is a book of its genre; don't expect criticism of the US Navy! But, of that genre, it's remarkably good. It's possibly a bit over-long, sagging a little in the middle with the back-and-forth of the Americans offering aid and the Russians pretending the offer hasn't been made, but start and end are taut and the whole thing is highly effective.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

See also:
Dangerous Ground, Larry Bond and Chris Carlson

Previous in series: Dangerous Ground | Series: Jerry Mitchell | Next in series: Exit Plan

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime crystal cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2021 hugo 2022 hugo 2023 hugo 2024 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1