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Reactionary enemy regimes have brutally taken command in South Africa and Germany. U.S. and European shipping lanes are suddenly under attack. World War is at hand -- and for the ruthless Berlin–Boer Axis, the devastating weapons of choice will be tactical nukes used at sea.
The Voortrekker, a deep-diving state-of-the-art German submarine, is on the prowl, carrying more onboard firepower than many of the world's nations possess -- and the crippled sub USS Challenger is the only weapon in America's arsenal that can match up with the silent killer. But the nation's last hope is in dry dock -- and Captain Jeffrey Fuller, Challenger's brilliant, driven skipper, must get his damaged boat back in action weeks before it is battle-ready. Fuller has faced Voortrekker in the past and, unlike so many others, he survived. This time, however, the fight will take place in waters far too deep for a normal sub to withstand. And this time the prize will be America.
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Joe Buff is a Life Member of the U.S. Naval Institute, the Navy League of the United States, the CEC/Seabees Historical Foundation, and the Fellows of the Naval War College. Respected for his technical knowledge, he is considered an expert on submarines and national defense. Two of his nonfiction articles about future submarine technology have won the Annual Literary Award from the Naval Submarine League. He is the author of five previous highly regarded novels of submarine warfare—Straits of Power, Tidal Rip, Crush Depth, Thunder in the Deep, and Deep Sound Channel. He lives with his wife in Dutchess County, New York.From Publishers Weekly:
An unsettling mix of underwater suspense, love story and near-future sci-fi, Buff's latest represents a well-intentioned if plodding effort to update the genre of submarine thriller. Set in 2012, the novel takes as its premise a South Africa and Germany (the Axis) at war with the rest of the world (the Allies). Both sides use nuclear submarines as their primary weapons. After September 11, Buff's geopolitical vision seems unlikely at best. Even less convincing is the romance between South African turncoat Ilse Reebeck, now working for the Allies, and Jeffrey Fuller, U.S. nuclear submarine captain. Although Buff writes in clear and competent prose, the relationship between the two lovers remains lifeless. More interesting are the undersea conflicts between the Allied submarine Challenger and the Axis Voortrekker, commanded by Captain Jan ter Horst and first officer Gunther Van Gelder. Although marred by ter Horst's stiff lectures, the submarine battle scenes are stirring, especially when the Voortrekker attempts to sneak into Allied waters. Buff does a good job of switching between Allied and Axis positions and handling the rising tension as the two sides clash, though a few scenes of graphic violence seem more appropriate to a horror novel. The tongue-in-cheek nod to Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea-an encounter between a giant squid and a sperm whale-provides the only lighthearted moment in this otherwise deadly serious novel. Buff, a Life Member of the Naval Submarine League, clearly knows his stuff, but this entry lacks the impact of other recent submarine thrillers.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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