Putnam, Mar 2003, 24.95, 400 pp.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the money needed to maintain a powerful military force no longer exists as other requirements surfaced. The United States government paid the Russians half a billion dollars to decommission and scrap all the existing Typhoon submarines. One Typhoon escaped the American net and was sold to China for one and a half billion dollars. It is traveling to its new home commanded by veteran submarine Captain Markou with each crewmember receiving money that they badly need to live in the new Russia.
The U.S.S. Portland on maneuvers in Russian waters locates the Baikal and is given orders to prevent it from entering the Bering Strait and rendezvousing with the Chinese who intend to use the Baikal as the means of taking over Taiwan. The commander of the Portland James Vann proves he's incapable of working in crisis mode, forcing his second in command, LT. Commander Steadman to take control of the ship and stop the Russians from delivering a vessel with twenty ICBMs to the Chinese government.
The cat and mouse game played by the two submarine commanders will remind readers of Tom Clancy's best seller THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. This is an action-packed thriller but Robin White doesn't stunt on developing the characters so readers can get a feel for their motivations. The battle scenes are totally absorbing, so much so that readers will finish this book in one sitting and then put it on their keeper shelf.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner