My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked Rick Campbell’s ‘The Trident Deception‘ (St. Martin’s Press 2014) from my Amazon Vine list based on the name and the author’s bio. Rick Campbell is a retired Navy Commander with several tours on submarines. I had no doubt he’d bring life aboard the narrow confines of one of the most powerful military platforms in the world to life.
And he did. This is the story of the USS Kentucky, a Virginia-class Trident submarine, who receives orders to fire their weapons of last resort–the nuclear warheads–at Iran because that enemy nation destroyed America’s capitol and killed tens of thousands. Trouble is, that never happened and the orders are an elaborate hoax. The plot delves into the many ways the US tried to stop the sub with a sprinkling of love interest thrown in for those who like that in their military thrillers. This is a gripping and credible plot that worries many. I found it fascinating to see how a man who should know posits we’d get ourselves out of that mess.
His inexperience as a storyteller (this is his first novel) comes through in that the characters are somewhat one-dimensional, the plot bumpy, and the story arc jerky and not altogether believable at times. What saves the book is Campbell’s authentic voice–no surprise with his background. The up-close view readers get of life aboard a sub, their weapons and crew, how they operate, is worth the price of the book. I gave it four stars based on this insider knowledge. I’ve read lots of novels about submarines and this is the most credible I’ve read.
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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. In her free time, she is editor of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.