The continued adventures of heroic submarine commander Jeffrey Fuller, squaring off in the near future against the evil Axis powers.
In this third installment, Buff picks up the story of WWIII in the summer of 2011, right where he left off (in Thunder in the Deep, 2001). Russia has just joined the enemy alliance anchored by Germany and the Boers of South Africa, a country torn apart by civil war. Conflict in this war centers around a strategic battle for the sea. At a glitzy ceremony, Fuller receives the Medal of Honor (though he loses it later that evening in an eerily coordinated attack on the streets of Washington) and a surprise visit from the president himself. The chief exec enlists Fuller and his nuclear submarine, the USS Challenger , in a critical new mission: protecting the coast of Brazil from an imminent Axis invasion. Fuller will be facing off against a young German captain who’s almost his mirror image: Ernst Beck has similar heroic credentials and inherits the command of the Admiral von Scheer, a move that represents a whole new level of power and stealth, upon the death of his commanding officer. Fuller’s mission is to sink the formidable von Scheer, which carries an atomic bomb, destined for discreet secretion somewhere in Brazil. Fuller’s lady love Ilse Reebeck, oceanographer and Boer freedom fighter, makes a cameo appearance but doesn’t accompany him, unlike in previous missions. A former Navy SEAL himself, Fuller leads a new team of guerillas, led by Cuban-American firebrand Felix Estabo, who’s been working in the Amazon rainforest for months prior to Fuller’s arrival. Some action follows Felix’s physical exploits, but most of it unfolds as an undersea chess game, the reader hovering over the shoulders of Fuller and Beck as they plot their respective moves.
Thick with technical data, strategy, and descriptive detail and written with stiff precision: for military tacticians, armchair and otherwise. Others, caveat emptor.