Last-gasp cold war hostilities provide an American submarine commander the opportunity to avenge his father's death. Authentic naval detail distinguishes the debut of the author, an Annapolis graduate and submarine sailor. The plot-generating treachery at the highest levels of the former Soviet navy is a standard military thriller device, but the firsthand feel for life aboard a nuclear hunter-killer sub--as well as for warfare under the polar icecap--is fresh and welcome in this not-too-technothriller. At a time when the superpowers are supposedly dismantling their superweapons, second-generation submarine skipper Michael Pacino speeds U.S.S. Devilfish to the Arctic to sniff out a huge and remarkably stealthy new Russian sub. Commanding the fleet submarine Kalingrad over the nominal control of the boat's unhappy captain is unreconstructed Bolshevik Admiral Alexi Novskoyy--who's about to implement his private plan to knock international relations back to the late 40's with an unprovoked attack on the US. It's not his first time at wielding his own foreign policy. As a sub skipper back in the 70's, Novskoyy, without provocation, torpedoed an American boat that found his polar hiding place. The American captain in that incident was Michael Pacino's father. Novskoyy is not completely alone in his plot. He's got a mole placed at the very top of the Pentagon, an Air Force general who keeps assuring the President that the sudden appearance of the complete Russian northern submarine fleet off the American East Coast is just an exercise. The President may be buying that story, but the admiral in charge of America's Atlantic submarine fleet, Pacino's mentor and godfather, is having none of it. He sends his godson orders to do whatever may be necessary to call the Russians to heel. Tense and, when at sea, chillingly realistic. There's a hefty glossary at the end, but DiMercurio's action needs no technical assistance.