The Shark Mutiny (Harper Torch 103066)

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9780061030666: The Shark Mutiny (Harper Torch 103066)
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An oil tanker mysteriously explodes in the Persian Gulf. Then a second . . . and a third. To the President's National Security Adviser Admiral Arnold Morgan it is more than a tragic coincidence—it is a brazen act of aggression that must not stand. In partnership with Iran, the Chinese navy has mined the Strait of Hormuz, intending to hold the world's oil supply hostage. Now eighty percent of America's active sea power is being mobilized—including U.S.S. Shark, an aging nuclear submarine on its final tour of duty—to dismantle a deadly alliance between two powerful enemies. But something goes terribly wrong during a bold retaliatory SEAL assault on China's Indian Ocean power plants—a disaster that spawns death, disbelief, rage . . . and rebellion. And with a volatile world on the brink of catastrophic conflict, the commanders of a nuclear boat in the twilight of glory must confront a nightmare as devastating as it is unthinkable: mutiny!

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Review:

Veteran techno-thriller writer Robinson's fifth novel pairs Arnold Morgan, the aging but still powerful national security adviser who stars in the author's previous titles (Nimitz Class, Kilo Class) with a new young naval intelligence officer named Ramshawe--one of the few characters with more personality than the military hardware on which Robinson lavishes most of his attention in this somewhat pedestrian tale.

Ramshawe's commanding officer ignores his warnings about a Russian airplane carrying a lethal cargo of sea mines to a Chinese naval base and the subsequent movement of Chinese warships flying the flag of Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, even when an American oil tanker explodes in the Persian Gulf. Unable to convince his Admiral that the events are connected, the junior hotshot ignores the chain of command and takes his suspicions to Morgan. When more oil tankers blow up and it becomes clear that the Chinese have mined the strait in order to drive oil prices up and destabilize the economy, Morgan deploys the U.S. Navy to the Gulf. Included in the force are a couple of SEAL teams on a submarine--but the sub is commanded by a deranged captain who believes he's the reincarnated spirit of the French naval officer defeated by Nelson at Trafalgar, so the SEALs are forced to stage a mutiny in order to carry out their mission. Meanwhile, it turns out China has another target in its sights, halfway around the world: its neighbor Taiwan. So the Taiwanese air force must fight off the attack on its territory with no help from the U.S. Navy, which is committed in the Gulf.

There's enough weaponry and military maneuvering here to keep fans of Clancy, Coonts, and Dale Brown happy, but it may be past time for the curmudgeonly Morgan to retire and let a new series hero like Ramshawe take over. --Jane Adams

About the Author:

Patrick Robinson is the author of seven international bestselling suspense thrillers, including Nimitz Class and Hunter Killer, as well as several nonfiction bestsellers. He divides his time between Ireland and Cape Cod.

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