A fast-moving military thriller that grabs the reader’s attention and holds on tightly.
Iran has a secret about its nuclear program—of course, the world assumes it has one, but no one knows how poorly it’s going. One of their scientists, a woman named Shirin, decides to defect to the West to prevent the war she fears will come from the world’s misunderstanding. But how can she leave Iran? It’s a job for the Navy SEALs to extract her and her husband from the Iranian coast and spirit her onto a submarine. This book is the product of plenty of research—on the capabilities of U.S. and Iranian submarines, the practices of the SEALs and the terrain along the Strait of Hormuz. Plenty goes wrong as the story shifts rapidly among several points of view. All the characters act with intelligence and dedication to their cause. Even the “traitor” Shirin is motivated not by affection for the United States but by love of her native Iran—she does not fully trust the Americans, nor they her. Yet she must act to prevent a war that would kill thousands, so she willingly risks her life and that of her unborn child. On the American side, Navy submariner Jerry Mitchell is the nominal main character, although he is often a half step behind the SEALs he accompanies on his mission. The writing is clear and crisp, the characters strong and deserving of sympathy. The reader may feel tempted to mentally wave a flag and chant “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” as our country takes extreme measures to preserve the peace, but Israelis and Iranians are also portrayed as strong, tough and generally principled patriots.
Iran’s nuclear ambitions are prominent in the news. That makes this novel a perfectly timed, first-class read.