Unlike so many writers of military fiction, David Poyer manages to have
a continuing character – Dan Lenson – who changes and grows from book to
book. That, and the air of authenticity that Poyer generates (thanks to
his own years in the navy), distinguishes the Lenson books from the
likes of Dan Brown and Tom Clancy.
This book finds Lenson dealing with a divided crew learning to cope with
gender integration aboard a destroyer on a Read Sea deployment.
Interesting characters and situations combined with a gripping climax
involving a terrorist nuclear device make this one stand out from the
This is another story about navel officer Dan Lenson. Poyer’s earlier
novels about Lensen had an aura of authenticity, but this is just
another special ops in the Gulf War tale. Poyer puts Lenson in a group
of Marines along with a crazy killer SAS officer and a female biological
warfare doctor. They’re given the job of finding an unknown weapon of
mass destruction in the heart of Baghdad. All the hackneyed Gulf War
novel plot elements are present: team discovered by wandering child
shepherd, characters tortured by mustached Iraqis, and so on.
It’s not a bad story in itself, and the team’s passage through the
Baghdad sewers is suspenseful, but compared to the earlier books about
Lenson, it’s a disappointment Poyer was just going through the motions
when he wrote this one.