TORPEDO! by Harry Homewood


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Nuclear sub melodrama, diffusely told but with an interesting central device. The Soviets have invented a new torpedo which can penetrate US subs' warning systems, and Admiral Zurahv gets permission to test the torpedo: he sinks the nuclear sub U.S.S. Sharkfin. So US Vice Admiral Michael Brannon retaliates--with the secret sinking of a Soviet sub (secret even from the President and Congress). And soon Brannon is pitted against Zurahv in escalating brinksmanship: how many subs will get taken out on each side before the Soviets launch an attack on our land-based missile sites? Meanwhile, with both Brezhnev and the US Prez still uninformed, the KGB's Igor Shevenko uses his Mossad contact in the Kremlin (!) to find out what Brannon is up to (and blackmails Zurahv, a pederast), while Bob Wilson of the CIA tries to find out what Zurahv is up to. But eventually the brinksmanship is out of hand: the ten Soviet ballistic missile subs at sea are each being birddogged by two US subs which can take out all ten Soviet subs at once if the attack is launched on the US sites. Zurahv orders the atomic attack, but Brezhnev is finally alerted and accepts a phone call from the surprised and angry US President. Crude on style and characters, but the plotting should appeal to sub-genre enthusiasts.

Pub Date: June 6th, 1982
Publisher: McGraw-Hill