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DANGEROUS GROUND by Larry Bond

DANGEROUS GROUND

By Larry Bond

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-765-30788-X
Publisher: Forge

Bond solos on this submarine story that sends a docked aviator to serve in a submarine.

This light melodrama tells of life on and the operation of a submarine. Lt. Jerry Mitchell, in his last week of naval flight training, finds his plane cartwheeling, and suffers such a severely broken arm that he’s to be cashiered when he asks to be transferred to submarine service. Trained on the Manta prototype, an information-seeking submersible, he’s assigned to the Memphis, a sub about to leave New London. The sub was to be decommissioned, but it has been given one last job: to go to Russian waters and check on hazardous radioactive waste the Russians have dumped underwater. Also on board are two women, Drs. Joanna Patterson and Emily Davis, both very knowledgeable engineers under the aegis of the president himself, who wants to present their findings at a forthcoming world environmental meeting. Assigned to manage the torpedo room, Mitchell has two heavy hands to deal with: Captain Hardy, who dislikes him for his political pull at getting his berth on the sub, and Senior Chief Foster, his top hand with torpedoes. During training exercises at sea, Mitchell’s aviation smarts help him outwit Captain Hardy himself, a master of sub tactics. The two doctors at last reveal that they want to use two torpedo tubes for housing two submersibles for recovering radioactive materials from the sea bottom and from leaking cans of radioactive waste. We can tell you that while the Russian waste disposal is within allowable limits, someone has stolen some nuclear warheads and hidden them in the Kara Sea for later resale. Eventually, the familiar “run silent, run deep” scenario arises when the sub is discovered by echo-location and must make its way out of Russian waters, again with Mitchell’s aviation smarts.

Strong satisfactions without accenting heroics. Well done indeed.