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Korea Strait: A Novel (Dan Lenson Novels) Hardcover – December 10, 2007

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Product Details

  • Series: Dan Lenson Novels (Book 10)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (December 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312360495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312360498
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The taut 10th entry in Poyer's series featuring U.S. Navy commander Dan Lenson (following The Threat) is rich in the naval detail fans have come to expect. After refusing a request that he take a medical retirement (after his political hot-potato adventures saving the president from assassination), Dan is less than pleased when he's put on the shelf and ordered to oversee a small crew of U.S. civilians and retired military personnel who will participate in an international training exercise off the Korean peninsula. But even before he comes aboard the South Korean frigate on which he and his team will be stationed, the discovery of a disabled North Korean submarine off the coast—and the lethal response of the survivors, trapped within—is the first clue he has that North Korea may have decided to plunge the world into nuclear war. From there, Poyer provides readers with a satisfying, fast-paced narrative in which Dan must negotiate his past, his superiors and an unpredictable submerged enemy. Poyer's tech talk throughout is nicely turned, and Dan Lenson remains a winningly weary hero. (Dec.)
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"What if North Korea attacked South Korea and the U.S. . . . not with tanks and missiles, but with a devastating strike from the sea? A gripping and timely naval adventure by “a master of authentic detail” --Kirkus Reviews


Praise for The Threat


“Poyer remains the most thoughtful of the military-thriller set and a master of authentic detail.”

---Kirkus Reviews


“There's plenty of danger and gripping action to satisfy his legion of fans.”



“Plenty of action, plot twists, and just enough character development to keep the pace moving . . . grab this engaging pot boiler.”

---Norfolk Viginian-Pilot


“A revealing portrayal of the backroom goings-on at the White House. Poyer’s more interested in story and character than in slam-bang action, and that’'s a good thing because when the action does kick in, we care enough about the characters to follow them into danger. Recommended especially for fans of Robert Ludlum’s political thrillers (although Poyer is a superior writer).”


More About the Author

USA Today-bestselling author David Poyer's thirty-plus books include THE DEAD OF WINTER, WINTER IN THE HEART, AS THE WOLF LOVES WINTER, and THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN, literary novels set in Pennsylvania; THE MED, THE GULF, THE CIRCLE, THE PASSAGE, TOMAHAWK, CHINA SEA, BLACK STORM, THE COMMAND, THE THREAT, KOREA STRAIT, THE WEAPON, THE CRISIS, THE TOWERS, and THE CRUISER, best-selling novels of the modern military; WHITE CONTINENT, STAR SEED, THE SHILOH PROJECT, and STEPFATHER BANK, science fiction; and FIRE ON THE WATERS, A COUNTRY OF OUR OWN, and THAT ANVIL OF OUR SOULS, historical novels about the Civil War. His work has been translated into Japanese, Dutch, and Italian, and rights have been sold for films, audiobooks, Nook, Kindle, etc. Poyer has taught or lectured at University of Pittsburgh, Cape May Institute, ODU, Joint Forces Staff College, UNF, The New College, Elizabethtown College, and other institutions, and been a guest on PBS's "Writer to Writer." He was a founding editor of THE NEW VIRGINIA REVIEW and is currently a fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Wilkes University.

Customer Reviews

Both his writing and his technical knowledge is way above the well-known more popular submarine thriller writers.
Alex Merck
On the up side it gives us a very real feel for the extreme tensions along the Korean faultline, ones that continue to trouble the world to this day.
Daniel Berger
I also felt that the story and its climax were fairly predictable, and I did not find the ending particularly plausible.
Roger J. Buffington

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. M. VINE VOICE on January 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
KOREA STRAIT is the tenth in a series that follows the naval career of Dan Lenson. He began his missions in THE MED (first published twenty years ago) as a young lieutenant. These days thirty-nine-year-old Commander Lenson wears a Congressional Medal of Honor decoration but his high-profile history is a hot potato for his commanding officer. When Dan refuses to retire early, he's assigned to what should be a routine and inglorious shipboard tour in the Orient. He's to command a TAG (Tactical Analysis Group) gathering information during joint war game exercises with South Korea, Japan and Australia in the Korea Strait. Of course, Dan's timing is impeccable and while he's afloat on the South Korean flagship, Chung Nam, the games tracking friendly targets are interrupted by a genuine attack by a squad of subs. The TAG commander is a "rider" with no command authority on the Chung Nam. But he and his team, determined to stand by an ally, disobey orders to evacuate (crossdeck) along with the rest of the American presence. Faced with typhoon seas and an unidentified enemy; Lenson aids Commodore Jung and the ship's company in such diverse ways as, among other things, calculating threat probabilities on his laptop and working with a belowdeck repair and rescue detail. The battle rages... and then the true destructive power of the enemy's weapons is discovered. Now, Dan must convince his superiors to approve a daring proposal in hopes of preventing mutual destruction in the strait!

This thriller is highly engrossing in many respects besides the tautly-told main plot of battle against foe and sea. For instance, it convincingly portrays the tensions and strains that an American naval officer could experience aboard a foreign nation's ship.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
U.S. Navy commander Dan Lenson rejects the strong suggestion that he leave the service on a medical retirement. He is unhappy with his treatment having just saved the Commander in Chief from an assassination attempt (see THE THREAT, not reviewed). Outraging the Congressional Medal of Honor is that the brass assigns him with duties to force him into retiring out of ennui as he no longer is given THE COMMAND assignments.

He is tasked to serve as an observer to a multinational exercise involving South Korea, Japan, Australia, and America off of Korean. Part of his duties is to escort U.S. civilians and retired military personnel and serve as liaison between them and their naval hosts on a South Korean frigate. However, the simple but boring mission turns suddenly potentially deadly when a disabled North Korean submarine is found nearby. They refuse rescue as they prefer to go down with the ship. This disturbs Lenson as he thinks they have something to hide; unaware at that moment how accurate his assessment is as other North Korean subs head to the Sea of Japan with perhaps Kim's personally autographed nukes; Dan plans to find out though his superiors and the South Korean Navy demand he do nothing except escort duty.

Lenson is terrific as his heroic past proves a handicap when it comes to political appointees and the Naval and DOD brass, who are entrenched bureaucrats seeking their next job while insuring their current position causes no personal harm to their careers. The enemy is unknown yet known as being erratically impulsive so anything can happen. However, as Lenson has learned throughout his naval career, sometimes the real enemy is the guy patting you on the back saying good job Brownie. Contemporary military fiction fans will relish David Poyer's exciting Korean thriller that spotlights how complex the five decade plus truce is.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Berger VINE VOICE on November 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
After the Washington-intrigue angle of "The Threat" it was nice to get back to sea in this one. Lenson, sent as far from Washington as possible after the previous book's events, is the head of a small team detached to a Korean squadron taking part in Allied anti-submarine exercises. The squadron finds itself facing unknown submarine enemies, with tensions rising along the DMZ. And indicators show the adversaries are interested in a lot more than sinking South Korean ships.

Lenson must walk fine lines as a detached observer on a foreign naval vessel - his American expertise valued but with distrust of long-term US backing of South Korea. Lenson hates the food but comes to respect the stalwart South Korean fleet and its resolute commodore.

The book drags a bit through the first half, but picks up well as the plot thickens. Lenson makes his way through complicated relations with his own civilian team as well as the South Korean officers with mixed feelings about having Americans aboard. The tension slowly rises but at times it's as dreary as the North Pacific seas Poyer describes. There are also more acronyms than usual. On the up side it gives us a very real feel for the extreme tensions along the Korean faultline, ones that continue to trouble the world to this day. And it's got some of the best modern sub warfare detail this side of Tom Clancy.

The dreariness isn't necessarily bad; Poyer is trying to show us the real side of modern naval life. In this case the few familiarities and comforts Lenson might otherwise have on ship, he must do without because he's on a foreign vessel. Lenson's Hornblower-like alienation, a driving part of his character development over the series, is heightened by depressing conditions on this or that ship.
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