Firing Point

George Wallace and Don Keith. Signet, $9.99 mass market (704p) ISBN 978-0-451-23739-2
The movie rights to this complex submarine thriller have already been sold—no surprise; the plot unfolds like a summer blockbuster. Initially, though, Wallace and Keith (the duo behind Final Bearing) take their time immersing readers in a not-so-distant future balanced precariously between the Cold War and World War III. Rogue Russian Admiral Alexander Durov conspires to restore Russia to its Soviet Union-era ranking as the world’s most potent military force. His mission: detonate explosives secretly placed onboard one of the country’s submarines while it cruises deep beneath the ice-covered Barents Sea, and then blame the aggression on the United States. Meanwhile on land, the Russian mafia seeks to disrupt and destroy the U.S. stock market so as to divert attention from Durov’s attempted coup. By the book’s halfway point, scenes alternate quickly between above and below sea level, as the financial cabal unravels and an untested American submarine crew led by Joe Glass (one of the book’s few truly likeable characters) battles the rogue Russians. Following a frigid showdown in the Arctic Circle, Wallace (a former U.S. Navy commander with 22 years of experience on nuclear subs) and Keith quickly tie up loose ends, but the book’s length and an overabundance of characters—many with complicated Russian names—may frustrate readers. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/06/2012
Release date: 07/01/2012
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