Books by James H. Cobb

TARGET LOCK by James H. Cobb
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"Cobb, who knows his Navy, his gadgets, and his acronyms, is less at home with nuance. Still, in the world of technothrillers, grade it a solid B."
Cobb's fourth salty tale about ships and sailors and chasing pirates on the bounding main—in 2008. Read full book review >
WEST ON 66 by James H. Cobb
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

And now, for something a little different, Cobb time-travels back from the 21st century and the world of technothrillers (Sea Strike, 1998, etc.) to 1957 and the world of, well, Jack Kerouac. Meet vacationing Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Pulaski, who loves his hot, custom-built—57 Chevy and every bend in the fabled Route 66. At a truck stop on his way home from a family visit in Chicago, Kevin encounters that staple of mystery fiction, a beautiful if dangerous damsel in distress. On the spot, she transforms him into a combination road warrior and knight-errant. Lysette Kingman is the daughter of notorious but now dead mobster Johnny 32. More importantly, she's the stepdaughter of the ruthless, alive, and repellent Mace Spanno, once her dad's comrade in thuggery. Some years ago, Johnny double-crossed his low-life partner and stole a quarter of a million from him. Though Spanno caught and killed Johnny, the money was never found. Now, Spanno's convinced Lysette knows where it is, which is why he's been tracking her so assiduously—and why she so desperately needs the protection of a brave and resourceful hard-driver like Kevin. (She also thinks he's cute.) From Chicago to the Mojave Desert, Lysette and Kevin follow the "Mother Road" while Spanno and his evil henchmen follow them in turn—much too closely. Fistfights and firefights ensue, interspersed with a couple of above-average love scenes. Inevitably, Spanno and Kevin connect, go one-on-one with guns blazing, after which both collect their just (and contrasting) rewards. Cobb's prose is sometimes as souped-up as Kevin's beloved Chevy, but by the finish you've had a pretty entertaining ride. Read full book review >
SEA STRIKE by James H. Cobb
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 2, 1998

Cobb's second successful sortie with Commander Amanda Garrett (Choosers of the Slain, 1996) and the good stealth ship Cunningham blends a China-Taiwan war, futuristic weaponry, and a gender-friendly US military where the men and women work even better together for the intimacies (still-illegal) that occur. The year is 2006, China is riven by civil war, and the Nationalists from Taiwan have just opened a second front in the south with a sea invasion. The newly refitted Cunningham is sent to snoop around and keep an eye on the combatants, particularly the crumbling Reds, who, it's feared, will let loose with nukes should the tide turn against them. Sure enough, on a foray up the Yangtse estuary to investigate mysterious goings-on in Shanghai, Garrett and company sniff out the trail of a missile submarine that's gone to sea with two hunter-killer escorts. Combined US, Taiwanese, and Japanese naval units track and kill the escorts, but as the clock ticks down Garrett has a flash of intuition (fittingly, after a bout of highly unlawful on-board sex with her helicopter pilot lover, Arkady): The real quarry, the missile boat, stayed put on the bottom of the Shanghai harbor. The only move left is for a Gulf Warsized blitzkrieg on heavily defended Shanghai, allowing Garrett and her capable crewmen (and women) to creep back up the Yangtse and find and destroy the target. The mission impossible is accomplished, after a desperate battle is waged to save some downed pilots and Garrett's own Arkady. A vividly imagined future war scenario, populated by quirky characters and steeped in the techno-poetry of modern weapons systems: Tom Clancy had better watch out. The new kid on the block's pretty good. Read full book review >
CHOOSERS OF THE SLAIN by James H. Cobb
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 6, 1996

A genuinely exciting debut yarn detailing how America's blue- water Navy might do battle with an unlikely foe a decade hence. It's early 2006, and Argentina has decided its manifest destiny is to seize control of Antarctica from the loose confederation of nations that have been using the minerals-rich wasteland for scientific studies. Having staked their preemptive claim by overrunning a British outpost, the invaders are confident that the imminent onset of winter will help them keep potential intervenors at bay long enough to confront the wider world with a fait accompli. They fail to reckon, however, on the presence of the USS Cunningham in Rio de Janeiro. Washington quickly orders the destroyer's captain, Commander Amanda Lee Garrett, to disrupt the Argentinean campaign until a carrier task force can reach the area. It turns out that plucky, professional Mandy and her five-star crew can do quite a bit as a one-vessel blockade. Sailing through the icy waters of the South Atlantic, the Cunningham (all but invisible on enemy radar screens and equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry as well as electronic systems) survives all the considerable firepower the Argentineans bring to bear against it in Pac Man engagements during which opponents rely on high-tech sensors to stalk one another at great distances. Guided by the sure hand of their captain, however, the men and women of the good ship Cunningham take a heavy toll on their aerial assailants before going on the offensive against an escorted convoy Buenos Aires has dispatched to provision its occupation troops. In a climactic clash, the Cunningham wreaks havoc on the supply vessels and warships sent to protect them, saving the subpolar region from economic exploitation and environmental depredation. There may be a moral or two tucked away in this hell-and-high- water tale, but impersonal interplay's the thing for Cobb as he masterfully pits his space-age warriors against one another. First- rate military suspense. Read full book review >