From Poyer (The Return of Philo T. McGiffin, 1983; Stepfather Bank, 1987), an Annapolis graduate with seven years of sea duty, comes this tale of an all-too-plausible political crisis that sends a U.S. Navy task force into action in the eastern Mediterranean. Old salts will at once recognize the authenticity that distinguishes this very well-handled naval adventure--authenticity of characters as well as ships. But there is no need to have been a sailor to appreciate the care and thought that have been given to this story of an amphibious attack force that is ordered to break away from the un-ending war games and head for Cyprus. There the Greeks and Turks are once again at each others' throats just as a Palestinian terrorist has taken over the American embassy in Nicosia. The action follows a hard-working staff officer saddled with an incompetent commodore, a middle-aged Chief Machinist's Mate whose vital destroyer has broken down when it is most needed, and an unlettered Marine private who will be in the thick of the action if the task force actually hits the beach. Ashore, there is the wife of the staff officer who has flown to Europe with her young daughter--only to find herself among the hostages at the Cypriot embassy. Everything works in this first-rate, unsentimental, and thoroughly accurate look at the present-day Navy. For once there is none of the bogus missile-rattling that is usually the heart of such efforts. These are believable adults with real minds trying to deal with broken machinery, flawed diplomacy, and the endless conflict between naval and domestic life. Well done.