Where Divers Dare: The Hunt for the Last U-boat

Randall Peffer. Berkley Caliber, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-27636-5

In this well-told tale of real adventure at sea, Peffer (Seahawk Burning), a novelist and travel writer, deftly combines WWII military history with an exciting account of a group of deep wreck divers searching for one of the most elusive and sought-after prizes: the sunken remains of the German submarine U-550, thought to be the last remaining undiscovered U-boat wreck reachable by divers. Peffer opens with the WWII battle between the U-boat and Allied ships that ends with the sinking of U-550, and the rescue of a small number of the German crew. Decades later, in July 2012, after years of research, a group of expert deep wreck divers discovers the boat off the Massachusetts coast. Over a period of months, they execute dangerous dives to 330 ft. below the surface to document their discovery. Through close examination of the wreck and interviews with the surviving participants of the battle, the divers determine that the official U.S. government account of the fight is inaccurate. Peffer conveys the tension, fear, and exhilaration of deep wreck diving in this uncomfortable true story of bravery, compassion, and death that characterized the violent last hours of U-550. Agent: Doug Grad, Doug Grad Literary Agency. (Apr.)