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The Trident Deception: A Novel Hardcover – March 11, 2014
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*Starred Review* Campbell utilizes his background as a retired navy commander and his familiarity with submarines to craft a terrific thriller debut. The USS Kentucky has departed on a three-month tour when the captain receives orders that shock both him and his crew. They are to head to an area near Iran, where they are commanded to unleash their nuclear weapons in retaliation for an attack on Washington, D.C. The ship goes silent, and it proceeds on the mission. What the crew doesn’t know is that the orders are false, designed to get the U.S. to make the first strike. The president and the navy continuously send rescind orders, but they don’t know that someone involved in the conspiracy is on board the sub and in charge of the radio. The countdown begins. Campbell does an amazing job, balancing character interaction with high-octane action, all the while keeping the technical jargon to a level understandable by nonmilitary readers. This is the best novel about a submarine since Tom Clancy’s classic The Hunt For Red October (1984). --Jeff Ayers
“The best submarine novel since Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October.” ―Booklist (starred review)
“The Trident Deception is a fistfight of a thriller that keeps you on the ropes from the opening bell and ends with an outta-left-field spin kick to the floating rib. It really should be stamped Top Secret because this is the kind of masterpiece that quickly moves other thrillers to the bargain table.” ―Dalton Fury, former Delta Force, and New York Times bestselling author of Kill Bin Laden and Tier One Wild
“It's hard to admit, for a marine sniper like myself, but the deadliest weapon on the battlefield is a nuclear submarine. No one puts the reader inside one like Rick Campbell does in The Trident Deception. I couldn't put it down. Compelling and thrilling, this novel is a must read.” ―Jack Coughlin, New York Times bestselling author of Shooter and Time to Kill
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The cast of Characters was interesting in that two of them actually were at one time coworkers with me on two different projects in undersea warfare. Ricks selection of these two mysterious characters was outstanding. As in the book they were extremely talented and dedicated coworkers and friends, they are on the crew of the Kentucky.
Rick created a great mystery that is not beyond the realm of possibility. The twists and turns are far more colorful and give the reader the needed background of each person without getting bored. I have not completely read this book to the end and will update this review when finished.
If it's as good as I feel the remaining chapters should be. I usually give it a second read. It's that second read I indulge into the entertainment factor of the story. Staying away from the Technicals and keeping it readable for all was perfect.
I bought this book because I was a Naval Officer for 22 years and specialized in aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). We hunted submarines. At one time I really knew subs, how they were used and what they did. Now…there were lots of places in this book that had me saying to myself: “Heck….that wouldn't happen, or shouldn't happen or couldn't happen,” but as I got toward the end of the story I realized that Tom Clancy and other renowned authors do this all the time in their plots…and we accept it, and they get away with it, because they are who they are and their stories are so good. This story is also good!
I occasionally wondered if the average reader would have a bit of trouble following along with the more technical aspects of submarine employment, operations and tactics as written by Mr. Campbell…and I’m not really sure. But other reviews here suggest that that is not a problem at all. Rick does, in an “Author’s Note” at the end, explain that in order to keep the story unclassified a lot had to be changed or just fabricated. He also had to “ease up” the language in which we Navy aviators and submariners specialists speak (acronyms and trade language) so that the average reader could follow along. I think he did a fine job here.
I was a Naval Flight Officer in P-3 Orions and the P-3C community is mentioned quite frequently. Rick did a pretty accurate job with our operations and tactics; but, then again, I’ve been out of the Navy quite a while. The P-3’s roll is brief but its play in the story is game changing.
I read a lot. And not ashamed to say I read a lot of fiction…mostly established authors like Clancy, DeMille, Thor, Kellerman, Grisham, Baldacci, etc. Assuming there is some sort of learning curve to writing fiction, Rick Campbell is clearly on a fast track. I will certainly buy the sequel to this book when it is finished.
I'm an ex sub sailor, so it was particularly interesting for me to read. And yes, I forgive the author for his declassification and simplifications.
We need new authors to offset some of the current "hero" thrillers the are just being punched out. The Trident Deception like Fitzpatrick's recent thriller "Fear Itself" give us new characters and a page turner .
I look forward to Ricks next undersea thriller.
The submarine scenarios are believable as are much of the personal interactions between the characters. The book overall is a fast read that held my attention throughout, well done. I look forward to future books by this author. For a first book this is an outstanding product.