KOREA STRAIT by David Poyer


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American observers sail into the thick of a vicious naval confrontation between the two Koreas.

Naval expert Poyer (The Threat, 2006, etc.) has already sent his hero Dan Lenson through nine realistic and frightening naval crises. They are always plausible situations, often in remote spots that are overshadowed by whatever big trouble the United States is in at the moment. This time the Medal of Honor–winner has been reassigned from his White House post to what appears to be lousy duty in the Western Pacific. Denied the command post he richly deserves, Commander Lenson is part of a team running joint U.S. and Korean Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) exercises in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Straight shooter that he is, Lenson throws himself totally into the job, coming quickly to respect the seamanship and dedication of the South Korean naval officers. Within a short time, he learns that the threat from North Korea is no joke. The weird totalitarians under their Dear Leader have been sending suicidal submarine crews to make mischief in southern waters even as the United States is secretly preparing to drastically reduce its forces in the area. On a break in Seoul, he participates in one of the spooky evacuation drills the Republic finds it necessary to run regularly to be ready for what they believe is an inevitable invasion from the North. Back at sea he rides out a typhoon and helps the Korean Commodore cope with the withdrawal of the Australian and American ships from the exercise. He has his own problem coping with the chain-smoking Koreans and the constipating shipboard diet. Then the ASW exercise becomes the real thing. Four of Kim Jong-Il’s subs and a second typhoon move into the area with murderous intent, and atomic radiation has been detected.

Well up to Poyer’s excellent standards. No bluster, no dazzle, just real naval engagements that we may well see before long.

Pub Date: Dec. 10th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-312-36049-8
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2007


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