If a single U.S. Trident missile sub went rogue, it would instantly become the fifth most powerful nuclear aggressor on planet Earth. According to some estimates, that lone submarine would possess more firepower than the combined nuclear arsenals of India, Pakistan, and North Korea. More than enough warheads to start World War III. Maybe even enough to end it.
Of course the Navy has extraordinary safeguards in place to prevent this kind of nightmare scenario from ever occurring. Mechanical and electronic lock-outs, security protocols, safety procedures, psychological screenings, and all manner of protections that go well beyond both my knowledge and my imagination. But no defense is ever perfect, and all of our protective measures have one thing in common… They depend on the loyalty of human beings.
Which raises an extremely unsettling question… What happens when the humans fail? (Or worse, what happens when they deliberately sabotage the system they’re supposed to be protecting?) That’s a damned scary thought. It also happens to be one hell of a good idea for a military techno-thriller. I’d love to write that book. Unfortunately, John R. Monteith already beat me to it with his white-hot submarine warfare novel, Rogue Avenger.
Just in case you haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading this book, allow me to quote from the jacket text…
THEY STOLE HIS FUTURE. HE STOLE THEIR SUBMARINE.
The accident changed everything… One moment, Lieutenant Jake Slate was going about his duties aboard the ballistic missile submarine, USS Colorado. The next second, he was sprawled on the deck plates in a spreading puddle of blood and hydraulic fluid. But it wasn’t the injury that ruined his life and doomed his military career. It was the rescue effort.
Now he’s being thrown to the wolves to cover up the misdeeds of a superior officer, and Jake doesn’t care for the role of sacrificial lamb.
Blinded by rage and unsure of his future, he finds himself at the center of a treacherous plot to hijack the Colorado and sell her nuclear warheads to a foreign power. Jake no longer knows who he can trust. He doesn’t know what the future holds. He really only knows one thing. He will have his revenge.
If that doesn’t give your pulse rate a little boost, you should consult your doctor, because you may be dead.
In addition to being a talented writer, John Monteith is a former U.S. Navy officer who served aboard a Trident sub. His knowledge and experience come through clearly in his writing. He’s done his time on nuclear deterrent patrols. He’s had plenty of time to think about what could go wrong, and he does an excellent job weaving some of his darker speculations into page-turning adventure fiction.
I first met John a few years ago, at a conference for the Military Writers’ Society of America. I was there to shake hands and meet other authors. He was there to accept an award for this novel. I picked up a copy from the display tables, leafed through a couple of pages, and suddenly I was hooked.
When I decided to start the Stealth Books imprint, John was the first author I invited to join. My goal from the beginning has been to attract smart authors who write smart books for smart readers. John certainly fits the bill, and so does this novel.
I can sum up my opinion of Rogue Avenger in seven words: I wish I had written this book.
Rogue Avenger is now available on Kindle and in paperback from Amazon.com, along with John’s follow-on novels, Rogue Betrayer, Rogue Crusader, and Rogue Defender.
Click here to visit John’s website, SubThriller.com.