Forge, May 12 2009, $26.95
Nuclear Sub Captain First Rank Aleksey Petrov is ordered to drive out of the Barents Sea any American naval vessel; even those observing the Russian military exercise from international waters. However, due to a human error, the ambitious and overly zealous Petrov watches in horror as his state of the art vessel the Severodvinsk collides with the USS Seawolf, whose mission was to map the seabed below the Russian naval training maneuvers.
While the American vessel can somewhat move on, the Russian sub sinks to the bottom of the sea. Seawolf Commander Jerry Mitchell, (see DANGEROUS GROUND) assumes the Russians gleefully left to gloat at a nearby submarine port. However, he quickly realizes the Severodvinsk has sunk. The brass from both countries want the incident to stay sunk, but Mitchell feels strongly a rescue of his naval comrades is a must regardless of the Pentagon or the Russian equivalent proclaiming otherwise, however he also worries his damaged ship might not be up to the task and could result in the deaths of his crew.
Readers will feel a bit claustrophobic as Larry Bond provides an insightful look at life on a submarine especially during a crisis. The story line is loaded with action and overloaded with gizmos. Although the brass in both capitals act in their usual political expedient manners that have become too common in literature, fans will enjoy the dilemmas of the two captains. Mitchell could not care less what the fat cats several thousand miles away demand, as he must decide between the risks to his crew vs. a rescue. On the other hand Petrov does care what Moscow thinks so he must decide whether to accept help that will end his career but save some of his crew or die with them; the choice is not as easy as it sounds because he does not trust the Americans to rescue them if they collect what they came for.