A strong, reasonably plausible nuclear thriller. Two terrorists with different secret motives--anti-nuclear revolutionary Andrea Doria Einaudi and Karl Schmidt, an OPEC saboteur seeking to force the U.S. to abandon Israel--team up to capture the nuclear sub Bremerton, which is docked for repairs at Long Beach Naval Station, California. With sex and ransom-money temptation, Andrea has managed to seduce two of the sub's reactor experts onto her team, and they are wiring the sub's reactor to explode, a threat to some seven million people in the area. First the team takes out an electrical transformer powering the naval base, so that the sub will have to rely upon its own internal power supply at the dock. Then they kidnap the base commander's wife and daughter as hostages, bringing them aboard the sub during their successful weekend raid and takeover while most sub personnel are on shore leave. Not on leave, however, is Petty Officer Hal Maurer, a witty anti-authoritarian reactor-technician; and he's the book's sort-of hero, along with Chief of Base Security Davis Stone, who's eager to lead a raid on the booby-trapped sub, risking the hostages' lives to save Los Angeles, despite orders to the contrary. Ultimately: the core goes into meltdown, and bullets and blood fly in a tightly suspenseful climax. Authentic technical detail, solid characterization--top-drawer in this genre.