A stirring sequel to Rules of Engagement (1999) from the pseudonymous Kent (a father and son writing team), with Navy intelligence officer Alan Craik back for some more of his special brand of derring-do.
Here, we find Craik posted to the Andrew Jackson, flagship of Battle Group Seven, about to participate in a series of training exercises that go directly to the heart of US combat readiness. He's been appointed "Flag intel," which means he's the BG's top guy for intelligence. Which means he's been upped from lieutenant to lieutenant commander for the sake of operational gravitas. Which means that there are now two lieutenant commanders in the Craik family, and Alan's wife, Rose, is the senior one. A hot helicopter pilot, Rose has her own complex mission involving the nation's newest communications satellite, the already famous Peacemaker. Is Peacemaker really just the innocent communications tool meant for universal benefit that official US position papers insist it is? Rose grows unsure. Russia thinks Peacemaker is a weapon of mass destruction masquerading in benign clothing. As for Libya, that untrammeled country takes an even more belligerent stance that affects both Craiks, bringing them unexpectedly together in extreme harm's way. Suddenly high drama breaks out everywhere. In Washington's corridors of power, there is unrelenting internecine warfare. In the Caribbean, Africa, the Balkans and elsewhere, the beleaguered Craiks and their friends encounter inimical forces and face them with their usual gallantry and style. And though in the end they triumph, they've acquired emotional and physical scars that will be long-lasting.
Heroes of both sexes to root for, deliciously corrupt villains to create anxiety: despite occasional forays into acronymic thickets, this rollicking, rousing naval thriller bears comparison to the genre's best.